Kenzo is currently a guide-dog-in-training at the SA Guide-dogs Association for the Blind.
Kenzo and three other guide-dogs-in-training were fully grown when they were donated to SAGA, so they didn’t get all the training they would have been given by being raised by a puppy walker family.
Kenzo is about a year old, and he and the other three dogs lived mostly outside before they were donated. They were not allowed inside their human’s houses and some of them were left without human company during the day.
For those reasons, Kenzo, Paco, Coco and Charlie are spending weekends with volunteer families to learn how they are supposed to behave inside the house. This includes house training in some cases, learning the “busy busy” command, not getting onto the furniture, not putting their feet onto kitchen counters, not begging, not stealing human food off plates or counters, not to squash or use the cat as a toy 😀 , and not to jump up on Auntie Mable when she visits (or the us for that matter), especially when they have been digging lovely muddy holes in the garden. They also have to be taught not to dig lovely muddy holes in the garden, not to run out of the gate and so on.
These are all lessons that the puppies bred by SAGA have already learned before they go in for guide-dog training.
As Kenzo is already in training I knew he would be fairly well socialised and I wasn’t worried about Riddick and the girls being aggressive. And I knew Riddick would be thrilled to have a playmate again!
Kenzo was as good as gold in the car on the ride home from SAGA, and he LOVES being around people! He’s very attentive if you’re walking with him, keeping a close eye on whoever is with him to see what you want him to do next. I can clearly see why he was accepted by SAGA for training.
As he’s not allowed on the furniture like our Riddick is, he slept right next to my bed!
He immediately comes when he’s called and he has most of the obedience commands nailed, although we have to work on him going through open doors and gates before being told he may. This is important because a dog running outside- or inside- simply because a door is opened can knock someone off their feet! And it helps prevent a dog from taking off out of the garden gate or running out of an apartment door and getting lost or hurt.
He tends to snatch when offered a cookie so we’ll work on that too, and he’s a little bit defensive of a toy once he takes possession of it from Riddick, so we’ll work on that too.
He did very well when we ate our supper- our first meal with him in the house- and he and Riddick lay down on the floor and paid us no mind which is how it should be. 🙂
We played fetch in the garden this evening, with Riddick trying to catch both of the balls before Kenzo could catch one, but there was no fighting and we had a good game with Riddick and Kenzo getting gradually friendlier as we played.
I’ll keep you all up to date with Kenzo’s visits in our house!