How to Train a Guide Dog

The following is a guest post written by Allison Stumbo, who raises and trains puppies to be guide dogs for the blind for Southeastern Guide Dogs. Allison runs the blog Rudy’s Life which follows the adventures of Rudy, the fourth dog in training.

Allison and Rudy, guide dog in training

Most of you guys have seen (or heard of) a guide/service dog.  Some of you may have family members or friends that use a guide/service dog.  But do any of you know the training that goes into those wonderful animals?
I do because I help raise & train them.

I open my home up to a cute little 8 week old pup, and for 1 – 1 1/2 years I will raise/train the dog.  Having to keep in my mind, that once the time is up… the dog will head back for “further” training, and then hopefully be placed as a guide/service dog. Which means, this dog is NEVER mine – I’m just someone in it’s life, that will put an imprint on it’s heart and help with it’s first part of guide dog training.

Our blog (okay… RUDY’S blog) is about the life of a guide dog in training. If you decide to follow his blog, not only will you be following “a dog’s adventure” you will be following a blog that tells (and shows) the training put into these wonderful dogs.

Rudy can do things from “sit/down/stand” to some of his guide dog commands “find the door/switch/forward” and much more. Rudy really likes to please, so not only does he know “voice commands” he also does “ASL commands”. Rudy adores sign language, it does him just as well as a regular command!

Rudy does go everywhere with me (shopping/church/meetings/etc) and really enjoys working. We also attend monthly guide dog meetings, where other dogs in the group are also in training to be guide dogs (some are Rudy’s siblings).

Questions are always welcome over at our blog, some people ask training questions – others wonder about certain “guide dog rules” we use, either way, we really enjoy answering them!

Rudy, taking a break from his training

Rudy is a 11 month old male Black (with brindle markings) Goldador (Lab/Golden cross).  His favorite chew toys are nylabones… and he’s a very strong chewer!  Rudy really enjoys going on walks, and does very well at maintaining a “loose leash”.

Some people have asked if Rudy has “nicknames”. With my past dogs – I’ve never used nicknames. But Rudy has seemed to collect a couple favorites! His main ones are “Ru”, “Ru Ru”, “Wiggly Butt” & “Little Man”.

If you are interested in the training that goes into these pups, feel free to stop by Rudy’s blog, we always enjoy new visitors!

About Guest Blogger @Trupanion

Interested in guest blogging for Trupanion? Send us an e-mail at socialmedia@trupanion.com! Learn more at: http://blog.trupanion.com/guest-blog-for-trupanion/

One Response to How to Train a Guide Dog

  1. Heather R. says:

    Rudy is so adorable! It’s so interesting to read about what goes into training a guide dog. I bet it is so rewarding to know how much you are helping out another person. Thanks for sharing your (and Rudy’s) story!

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