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Hello it’s Cassi here, Irvine’s Early Trainer to update you on what he’s been getting up to!
Since Irvine arrived at training school we’ve been having a blast together. Irvine is always in a good mood which transfers to me too! He makes me laugh with his cheeky personality and often sneaks his head into my treat pouch when he thinks I’m not looking. Irvine loves his purple octopus toy, I even had to wash it as he plays with it so much!
Irvine was a little body sensitive when I first introduced the harness. I spent time building his confidence by firstly introducing the body piece and doing lots of fun things whilst he wore it, such as playing. Once he was comfortable wearing the body piece, I introduced the handle. I am pleased to say that Irvine is now wearing the full harness and puts his head into it himself to put it on, you can see a photo of him proudly wearing it below.
I’ve been taking Irvine to busier environments with more distractions to test his skills. We’ve ventured to coffee shops and supermarkets and spent lots of time in Barkingside, which is an ironic name! It has a residential area to practice kerb work and a busy high street with various obstacles to manoeuvre.
Irvine is now a master of public transport, travelling on buses, tubes and trains without even batting an eyelid! His puppy walker, Abigail, gave him lots of exposure to different types of transport and it’s paid off with how calm and happy Irvine is when we go from one form of transport to the next. Check out the photo below of Irvine and I training on the bus.
Irvine is a friendly boy and loves to know what other dogs are up to. To improve Irvine’s focus around other dogs, I praise him when he stays focused on me or on the path ahead. It’s been rewarding to see him improve in this area and I’m very proud of him.
The ultimate test
A highlight of training Irvine has been our first blindfolded walk. Usually, when we approach obstacles I subconsciously give Irvine hints through my body language. However, when blindfolded I put my complete trust in him. Irvine was fantastic and really looked after me, I was beaming with pride!
Irvine’s not only a brilliant working dog but is also an incredible companion. He would suit someone with a busy lifestyle, especially if they travel by tube as he’s a pro!
Thank you for following Irvine’s journey so far. Irvine will soon be off to begin his advanced training and I’m excited to see him develop his skills further. Look out for your next Pupdate in October!
Irvine's latest video
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Irvine in action
Here’s six-week-old Irvine having fun at the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre. He’s an adventurous pup who loves running around the garden and playing with his sister Immie.
Sponsored guide dog puppy Irvine is at Pupdate 1 stage. He is with his puppy walkers, playing, having cuddles and learning the skills needed to become an amazing guide dog!
Sponsored guide dog puppy Irvine is at Pupdate 2 stage. He is with his puppy walker, visiting a farm, having cuddles and learning the skills needed to become an amazing guide dog!
Sponsored puppy in training, Irvine, is at Pupdate 3 stage. He is making great progress with his Early Trainer and is learning all the skills he needs to become a life-changing guide dog!