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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday's Training TIP: AROUND

The "around" command is specific to our Future Leader Dog puppies. When doors have hinges on our left side (where the puppy is heeling), it is safer to pass through the door with the puppy on our right. 

So, we teach them "around"--passing the leash from left hand to right behind our backs, guiding the puppy to our right side, then we proceed through the doorway. Once safely through, we pass the leash behind our back from right to left and "heel" our puppy forward.

This short video is of me and FLD Scout in our house, going through a left-hinged door into our bedroom. In a more open area I would have walked a bit further on before having Scout heel back to my left side.


video


(As we approach the door, FLD Scout veers toward the open door on our left--Gus was there in his crate! Scout did a pretty good job refocusing on task. And notice the nice loose leash?)


HINTS FOR TEACHING AROUND
  • Repetition! Always, always, always, guide your puppy to your right side this way at EVERY left-hinged door you pass through.
  • Feel for the door. A blind or visually impaired handler will reach out to see where the door knob is...do the same thing with your puppy as a "cue" and soon your puppy will watch for your command if the "around" is necessary.
  • If your puppy rushes through, stop, shut the door, and wait until the leash is loose. Try again.
  • Stop after going through, keep your puppy standing at your right side, and then shut the door. (I didn't do this in the video.)
  • Praise your puppy!


10 comments:

  1. I love that Leader Dogs are taught "around." I know a lot of other dogs who aren't taught that and it's a skill that I have appreciated; especially with having Glacier who is very large and long. Glacier knows "around" a bit too well though because if he sees a left hinged door he starts trying to do "around" before he's finished finding the door. Makes me laugh. I know this about him so I am able to "hop" him up to the door and then he is allowed to do "around." I don't know why, but he loves "around."
    Good girl, Scout.
    PS: If you ever hear someone talking about taking "around" out of the LDB program, don't let them! LOL

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  2. Good boy, Glacier! These pups DO seem to enjoy "around!" Fun to read about Glacier's personality and how tuned in you are to him. And don't worry, I doubt that LD will stop teaching this!

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    1. It looks easy on the video but difficult to apply. Thanks for the Hints Pattib.

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    2. You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by. I do think it's not too difficult if you start your puppy with the "around" from day one at EVERY left-hinged door you go through. It just becomes a fact of life for her, and eventually she'll start doing it without alot of assistance. Try it!

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  3. I always enjoy watching your videos!

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  4. Thanks "Carolina!" I appreciate the comment and your visiting my blog. :)

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  5. I forgot to tell you that I love watching your videos as well...mostly because I can hear your clock ticking in the background. Makes me think you have a very "homey" home. LOL

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  6. Oh Jess, that is so cool! I do think we have a "homey" home and I never thought about the ambient noise you might hear. My husband is a woodworker and he built the clock that you hear. I love hearing it tick and chime the quarter hours!

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  7. My first dog was from Seeing Eye, and the left hinge door thing was taught differently there. I put my hand on the door, the dog takes a couple steps back, open the door, put my back against it, and still holding the dog in the left hand, have her walk in front of me. Even with dogs from another school, I continue to do it this way. I was in college in crowded buildings and often carrying a cup of tea or box of food in the other hand. If I had taken the time to switch the stuff to the left hand while dog moved to the right hand, someone, thinking they were being helpful, would open the door into my body and spill hot liquid on me. Glad your puppy is doing so well on the around skill!

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    1. Martha, it is interesting to learn how other schools and handlers manage situations like the left-hinged doors. I understand the difficulties switching hands when you have things in your right hand--I admit that there are rare times when I just bring my left arm way behind me without swapping hands while Scout goes to my right side, and then "heel" her back to the left side after going through the door.

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