Puppies in the Sky
Recently, three clever and adventurous pups-in-training enjoyed a very special training session at Scenic World in the world heritage-listed Blue Mountains.
Six-month-old siblings Forrest, Faith and Ariel were on a mission to explore and get used to different types of transport.
Roll call: Faith, Forrest, Ariel reporting for class.
Forrest was not phased by the heights.
Faith was not scared one bit.
Ariel was brave the whole time and kept her eyes on her human.
Forrest enjoyed the breath-taking views of the Blue Mountains.
Forrest getting out and about in nature.
Our handsome Forrest
Forrest enjoying the sunshine at the end of the session.
The pups had previously experienced buses and trains so we were looking to take training to the next level. Puppy Education Supervisor Andrea said:
“Riding the Skyway and cable car was new and confronting both in movement and exposure. Our aim was for the pups to show confidence and self-settling skills during the trip.”
“All public access and transport training is socialisation, so we opened the wider world to our pups with the aim to allow them to feel familiar with unusual situations and work on their ability to stay calm and focused.”
Assistance Dogs are allowed to accompany their human to almost all locations, and this type of training is important to get the puppy used to the unusual environments they will encounter on the job.
The most important skill of an Assistance Dog is to stay focused on the handler regardless of the surrounding environment.
With enough careful exposure, training adventures such as these will prevent a dog becoming overwhelmed or frightened by things like trains or escalators.
If a dog is not reliable or trustworthy while out and about, this could pose a threat to their human’s safety.
The pups also practised walking calmly on a loose lead while keeping focus on their handler. Ignoring the public and their peers is always a goal in all training sessions.
Thank you to Scenic World for hosting this amazing training session. Our amazing community is the lifeblood of our organisation, and without kind supporters like you, we would not be able to train Assistance Dogs to change the lives of people living with disability.