Little Francie did her first public CCI presentation in July. It was at Rancho Coastal Humane Shelter in Encinitas. Linda and I took her and I did a brief presentation to an Animal Camp group. They were a group of 9 girls in age from 10-13 years. At five months old, Francie’s commands were limited as to what I could demonstrate with her, but she did great at her “sit”, “down”, “shake”, and “wait” (for permission to eat a treat). I told them about CCI’s mission although many of the girls had heard about CCI previously through a school presentation. This summer camp was focused on careers with animals. So I focused some of my presentation about the various jobs in place at Canine Companions for Independence such as trainers, Vet Techs and the like.
After the presentation, I took Francie’s cape off and allowed her to just play in the room with the girls. She chased and fetched her ball for them. I outlined appropriate play for a service puppy in training. I gave them CCI flyers and book marks. It was a good first outing for the little one. Here is a photo above of us with the group, at the camp. And a video of her playing with the gals at the bottom of the text.
Francie has completed her kindergarten (KPT) puppy training, passed her exam and has advanced to Intermediate level. Here are some photos from class with a video from when Mike, the class instructor, had us do the “here” command. It’s funny, as the tile floor is so slick, Francie looks like a cartoon character running in place until she gets a grip and bolts over to Linda. But she was tested and passed so she now advances to intermediate level training for the next 6 months. She demonstrated that she knows, let’s go, sit/stay, here, down/stay, leave it ignoring food on the ground, and wait.
In our most recent (intermediate) class we are introducing “stand” and will soon instruct the “heel” command. I love this age as the dogs understand what’s really going on and that they are learning so they start tuning in more to see what it is exactly, that we want them to do. They try so hard to please us and get it right – for a treat of course.
Francie is quite food motivated but Lyn and I balance it carefully as this can actually make her more distracted knowing I have a treat. So for stand she gets lots of verbal praise. I use the treat more for “heel” where it helps to lure her through the maneuver until she learns the proper placement. Francie is a quick study and picks things up easily. At one class recently, I introduced "out" to her (passing through a threshold ahead of me, turning to face me, then sitting to wait for the next command) right before the class began and it was the first she had been exposed to this command. Later in class when it was her turn, she demonstrated "out" as if she had known it for weeks. Good girl Francie!