I was flipping through my Golden Retriever Guide Dog Puppy In Training, Apache’s folder and came across a dog training checklist. Actually this wasn’t any old dog training checklist because Apache is training to be a guide dog. This was a list detailing 18 things your guide dog puppy should know before he goes in for formal guide dog training.
As puppy raisers we receive our guide dog puppies in training at around 7 weeks of age and from that point we work on their socialization, obedience, house manners, etc. until they are approximately 18 months old. At 18 months we return our puppies to the Guide Dog school where they continue their “formal” education for another 6 months. After about 6 months our puppies are matched with a visually impaired partner and the 2 work together as a guide dog team until the guide dogs retirement.
Dog Training Checklist
I work hard on my guide dog puppy’s obedience, socialization and house manners and by the time my puppy is 14 months of age I try to have all 18 items on the dog training checklist marked off. Why 14 months? Because sometimes a puppy in training can get turned in as early as 14 months of age.
Just in case you were wondering about this checklist, here’s a look at the 18 dog training items I try to complete by the time my puppy is 14 months of age.
In For Training Checklist
This Pertains To Dogs 14 Months And Older
- Does Your Dog Know His/Her Name?
- Does Your Dog Know How To Sit For Meals?
- Does Your Dog Know How To Sit?
- Does Your Dog Know How To Down?
- Can Your Dog Sit/Stay For 3 Minutes With Distractions Present?
- Can Your Dog Down/Stay For 5 Minutes With Distractions Present?
- Can Your Dog Do A Formal Recall
- Does Your Dog Come To His/Her Name Off Leash?
- Can Your Dog Lay Quietly On A Tie Down?
- Is Your Dog Happy To Be In The Crate If Need Be?
- Is Your Dog Able To Relieve On Leash?
- Is Your Dog Able To Relieve On Different Surfaces?
- While Driving Can Your Dog Lay Quietly?
- Is Your Dog Allowed Off Leash In Your House Without Getting Into Trouble?
- Can Your Dog Walk On A Loose Leash While Passing Other Dogs?
- Has Your Dog Had Sufficient Exposure In The Kennel?
- Is Your Dog Comfortable Being Examined By People?
- Can Your Dog Respond To Basic Obedience Commands When Given By Someone Other Than You?
How Did Dublin Do With This Dog Training Checklist?
Of course Dublin was perfect when he started his formal guide dog training a few months ago 🙂 Honestly, I would answer yes to all of the above questions for Dublin, but I would not say he totally mastered all of the above.
Dublin was good at the sit/stay and down stays, but if you threw in the right distraction he may not be able to hold it for 3/5 minutes. Although he did very well with his sit/down stays when we attended guide dog obedience class at the Sylmar campus. His other trouble spot was “can your dog walk on a loose leash while passing other dogs”. The answer is yes, but some dogs distracted him more than others. We worked very hard on both of these areas and saw a lot of improvement in Dublin. As I said I would say “yes” as my answer to the questions, but he had not yet mastered everything.
Do you have a checklist that you follow when training your puppy? How would your dog do if you had to answer all the questions on this dog training checklist?