Canine Companions® puppy Bolt has had a busy start to 2021! He was featured on Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl, which aired before the Super Bowl on February 7. We were so excited to gain awareness for our mission from the feature on Bolt’s journey to becoming a service dog!
Bolt also recently visited Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and experienced the snow for the first time!
Bolt is 10 months old, and his volunteer puppy raiser Angela says that he has been such a joy to raise. He is very attentive, eager to learn, wants to please and is a super snuggly puppy. When people meet him, the first thing they comment on are his expressive eyes, his silky soft ears and how polite he is.
Angela says Bolt is an incredibly responsive pup; when he hears his name called, he’ll stop whatever he’s doing and look right at her awaiting a command. Some of his favorite commands are “Here,“ “Roll,“ and “Bed“ – and the ones he likes the most are “Dress“ and “Say Hi!“ Whether it’s his Los Angeles Chargers jersey or his Canine Companions cape, Bolt gets excited to put them on and wears his uniforms proudly – and you can always count on him to wave to his fans.
Now that he’s getting older, Angela has been introducing some new commands. He’s currently in the process of learning “Back,“ “Visit,“ and “Lap.“ Bolt is so focused during training sessions that he picks up new skills quite quickly.
If you aren’t familiar with these commands, below is a brief description of what they are and how they are used:
Here: The dog returns to the handler.
Roll: The dog exposes their belly for grooming or examination. Some dogs may need cueing or other assistance from the handler to feel comfortable getting into this position.
Bed: The dog lies down on a dog bed.
Dress: The dog puts their head through the cape, vest or collar.
Say Hi: The dog raises its paw.
Back: The dog walks backwards, either next to or facing the handler. Back is used in the command “Tug”. The dog “tugs” a strap that is tied to a door by stepping backwards.
Visit: The dog rests their head in the handler’s lap. In professional training, this command is combined with the retrieve to bring dropped items into the handler’s lap.
Lap: The dog places their front legs across a person’s lap. In professional training, this command is combined with the retrieve to bring dropped items to the handler’s chest. We are grateful for the effort and love that Angela is providing to Bolt! The commands he learns now will prepare him for professional training where he will learn more advanced commands. Stay tuned – we can’t wait to see what other adventures and things 2021 has in store for Bolt!
To learn more about volunteer puppy raising, click here.
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