Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Group Walk with #SAGApupVolt

This morning Volt and I met our SAGA PDS at the Lifestyle Home Garden Centre for a group walk around the shopping complex and the parking lot. 

Volt and I arrived a good 30 minutes early so that I could walk him around the parking lot and get rid of some of his energy before we met up with the other dogs. He LOVES seeing his SAGA buddies!

These group walks are a very important part of their training as the dogs MUST be able to walk anywhere without being distracted by anything. And walking with a whole lot of other dogs is great practice! We climb stairs, walk through playgrounds, walk the dogs in a circle and change direction, walk past the shops and restaurants, get the pups close to each other and walking in a line, whilst telling them all the time not to play or look at each other. It is hard because the pups know each other, and because they are "teenagers". We do allow them to greet each other, but work is work- and the leash and a training vest means no playing.

Tuppence and his mommy, and Volt and I waited until it was a "big circle" again before we joined the  group (the small circle is pictured above)
pups in a line, waiting for the other dogs to come up the stairs
We also walk each others' dogs a little as they need to be happy to walk with anyone, and some of our dogs are very mommy (or daddy) focused. 
Today we were joined by Oreo (black lab), Tuppence (black lab), Nordic (yellow lab), Kito (yellow lab), Otis (black lab), and Volt's sister Vegas (also a yellow lab).

I always get nervous when we do these walks because the dogs are being assessed whilst we're busy, and I always worry that I haven't done enough or I've done something wrong...  Apparently that is pretty normal for us puppy walkers, especially with our first dogs. 
Volt is three quarters retriever, which makes him inclined to pull on the lead when he's excited. Pulling is discouraged and corrected, but two hours on the leash means my left hand is very sore tonight. SAGA has said I can borrow one of their lovely soft leather leashes until Volt goes back for training as the canvas one I am using is very hard on one's hand when a dog pulls.

click on the puppy to make a donation to SAGA

Don't forget to check out the Twitter hash-tag #SAGApupVolt to see regular updates on my puppy raising adventure!
Follow @SAGuide_Dogs on Twitter!


cybersass said...

aw... i love that you're doing this angel. i don't know if i could part with my pup...

Angel said...

cybersass: there are lots of volunteers raising guide-dog pups, and we all know why we're doing it and that we'll have to part with our dogs... We know it won't be easy, but we know its coming.

Nicholas Temple said...


Angel said...

Hello Nick!!! How are you!?!?

Nicholas Temple said...

I "tolerable," Angel. Tolerable.

Angel said...

Good to know! Very good to know!