Sunday, August 14, 2011

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Sarasota Discovery Center Meeting

Saturday we had our monthly meeting in the SEGD Discovery Center in downtown Sarasota. We had the obedience part of the meeting first, then we spent the rest of the time mingling with the visitors to the Center, letting them love on our puppies and ask us about the whole puppy raiser experience.

Judy started out the meeting with a controversial move: she threw food on the ground! Well, not really. 8-) It was all part of her lesson involving getting the puppies to work on their food distractions. Evidently, getting distracted by crumbs on the floor, trying to vacuum them up, snarfing up after a meal or begging for food is one of the number one ways a puppy can get bounced from the guide dog program.

What's a puppy raiser to do? Why, train them to ignore food on the ground (Note to self: work in cafeteria more! 8-)

Here are some of the chicken treats that she placed on the ground:

As you can see by Jam's expression below, the chicken treats smell DE-LIGHTFUL! Even Annie thinks they are amazing.

Judy didn't stop with chicken, she added some other yummies as well. It was quite a pile of joyful goodness as evidenced by the lunging, drooling puppies in the background.

Jam remained at the ready to leap up and eat a pile when the word go was given. Unfortunately, that word was never given.

Judy did give the word for every raiser to try walking in a circle around the treats to see if their puppy could make without lunging.

Fred had the leash. I had the video camera. I have to say that Mick, our last puppy to go was quite...unusual. You have to wait for it. I guess somethings are more important than food.

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