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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Phases: Phase 5

Phase 5:

Notable Accomplishments: Preliminary Obedience Training:
Responses to "Sit", "Down", "Heel", "Come", and "Stay" are demonstrated to a Training Supervisor and are expected to be understood, fairly consistent, and generally gained with a single command. Heavy distractions are offered during exercises. (When I read this I was almost certain that Freya would be coming home.)
Demonstration of Food refusal is required.
General exercises of body handling are demonstrated.

Body Work:
Body handling responses continue for consistent response and improvement where needed. New Handlers are added to body handling experiences.

Guidework Training:
Formal Harness Training: Dogs now have full freedom to make decisions and some mistakes with normal guidework responses. When errors occur the instructor will continue to show the dog the correct answer before they become confused. The instructor will still pattern challenging and advanced guiding decisions and responses.
Difficult travel line problems and open parking lot areas are worked to further establish responsible line stability. Challenging food and animal distractions are set up for new area guidework routes.
Instructors practice short blindfold sessions with their dogs, having a teammate spot for their safety. This gives them information regarding what guidework behaviors are strong and which are weak for each individual dog.

Notable Accomplishment-Preliminary Blindfold Testing:
Instructor under blindfold works the dog on an urban/suburban area route or a distance approximately 14 blocks. Passing requirements are for the dog to display an understanding of safe guidework skills and focus on work and their handler. Obedience exercises are done at some point on the route, usually when a distraction is present.
Dogs who pass the Preliminary Blindfold Testing will be able to progress to Advanced Guidework Training. Dogs who don't pass receive further training and are re-tested when ready.

Physical Agility Programs Continue.

Obstacle Course Progression:
Dogs are guiding through more challenging clearance courses as more finished guides. The course designs are increasingly difficult and usually require the development of problem solving skills and Intelligent Disobedience responses.

Socialization Training:
Extra socialization assignments are given to dogs who need them.

CWTs focus more on relaxing time for the dogs during this intensive and difficult part of guide training.

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