Puppy Training the Guide Dogs Way

pup guidedogs

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Guide Dogs for the Blind have been rearing and training puppies for the most demanding responsibilities that we ask of any dog, keeping careful records of each dog and its progress, over the course many years. In doing so, they have created a puppy training programme by which all their dogs are reared to ensure the highest success rates.

Beautifully illustrated with lots of puppy photos and interspersed with case studies to highlight specific points, this book takes you through every stage of puppyhood, from understanding the importance of choosing a puppy from health-screened and well-natured parents; puppy-proofing your home; socialisation with other animals and getting pups used to different environments; basic ‘good manners’ training; the dreaded adolescence, and sports and activities you can do with your dog.

Although the book lightly covers breed specific differences in behaviour and character, dogs chosen for guide dog work are naturally biddable, and the guide dog training programme has been designed around particularly biddable dogs. For breeds of more independent and wilful character, a little more depth into finding and building on your dogs motivation would help the reader whose puppy is just as happy to carry on sniffing around the room as take any notice of his owner.

The training methods in this book are all motivation and reward based and although the much over-used ‘dominance’ word crops up with regard to the adolescent dog, it is nice to read a modern training book that doesn’t suggest your puppy will want to rule the world. An added plus for this book is that all royalties from its sale are donated directly to Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Review by Diana Attwood.