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Friday, April 23, 2010

The Phases: Phase 9

Phase 9: This is the phase Freya was just in.

Obedience and Distraction Training:
The dog should have consistent responses in a variety of environments during formal and informal guidework and with different handlers.

Advanced Guidework Training and Testing:
"Finishing Routes": Relaxing residential or country route work, sidewalk less areas, and less difficult and straight-forward work. This is to build the dog's confidence before class.
Advanced Work Routes: New advanced routes are introduced to the dog. These routes require advanced decision making.
  • City traffic patterns
  • Difficult crossings
  • Difficult clearance situation
  • Line problems
  • Animal distractions
  • Surface issues
  • Curb approach challenges
  • Pedestrian islands
  • Crowded sidewalks
  • Different pedestrian climate
  • Additional city bus exposure
  • Additional rapid transit ride exposure

Dogs at this level are worked by novice handlers. These consist of O&M Seminars (I'll be honest I'm not sure what this means), mock student instruction practice for apprentices, obedience exercises with new students in class learning handling, demonstrations, etc.

Notable Accomplishment: Final Traffic Testing

The instructor is now under blindfold on guidework routes. Several traffic checks requiring all types of traffic avoidance responses are given to the dog with the instructor unable to predict when they will happen. (It doesn't say that they have a spotter in the manual, but I'm almost positive they do)

Escalator Boarding/Riding/Exiting continues: The dog is progressing to Independence when birding, riding, and exiting.

Sidewalk less route training continues.

Specialized Training: customizing a dog's work for a particular client's needs. This could include travelling at a slower pace, learning to work with someone who travels with a support cane, someone who has balance issues, someone who is also in a wheelchair, etc.

Platform Edge Training continues: The dog will be tested on avoidance of drop-off edges on pedestrian platforms of subway and rail systems. Boarding and exiting trains.

Total Barricade Training Continues: The dog should now be able to inform his/her handler of objects completely blocking the path.

Advanced Overhead Obstacle Clearance Training.

Socialization: The dog should be able to relieve on cement now. Any dog who is still uncomfortable with this will be placed in additional socialization programs.

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