Our beautiful boy has been in training for a little over seven weeks, and in that time he spent about ten days at home with us whilst his trainer assisted another trainer.
He'll be coming home for a two week Christmas holiday and we'll fetch him just before the Christmas weekend, by which time he will have been in training for nine weeks.
His trainer says he is doing really well, but we are under strict instructions not to allow him to "speak" when he's on holiday.
He LOVES to speak and it only took him about 45 minutes to learn the command. This was back when they were going to review Volt's potential as a service dog for someone in a wheelchair. The "speak" command is used by service dog owners in order to attract attention if they need assistance and can't call out. But Volt is far too strong and too energetic for someone who is wheelchair bound and may not have the physical strength to rein him in, so service dog training was ruled out.
We continued using the "speak" command after that though because it was clever, and it impressed grownups and children at expos when we were selling raffle tickets to raise funds for SAGA.
The problem is that Volt realised most people were impressed by his bark and used it to curry favour, like trying to get you to throw his stick or ball, or give him a cookie or some such.
His trainer has worked very hard to stop him doing it for fun, so whilst he doesn't have to "work" whilst he's here with us on holiday (meaning he doesn't have to go everywhere with us like he did when he was little), we must not allow him to "speak".
We're looking forward to having Volt visit for a while. And we know Riddick is going to love having him here again!