Canine Companions® dog Foley has almost completed the first three months of professional training. He has been hard at work building on the commands his volunteer puppy raisers taught him, as well as learning the new commands that he would use as an assistance dog with a child, adult or veteran with a disability.

Foley starts his day with a delicious kibble breakfast before he begins training with his professional trainer, Eli. Together, they have been working on the “retrieve” command, where Foley focuses on picking up dropped items such as keys, phones, shoes and other items. He spends the day training, taking breaks, playing and relaxing. He ends the day with another delicious kibble meal as he settles in for the night.

Foley continues to work on his floor skills, which include the commands “bed,” “heel,” “side,” “down” and “stay.” He is getting really good at “outs” and “waits” too, which are very important tasks for an assistance dog. He’s also using the “push” command to close drawers and push plates to open doors all around campus.

In addition to practicing these commands on campus, Foley has been on field trips to the Oceanside Harbor and the local hardware store. Working in places like these will help him generalize the commands, meaning he’ll understand that he needs to perform them in public, with many distractions, as well as “at home.”

Foley is doing great in professional training and is eager to continue learning what it takes to become an assistance dog. We’ll continue to follow Foley over the next few months as he navigates professional training. Subscribe to the blog to see how it all turns out. You can also get weekly glimpses of Foley in training by following us on Facebook and Twitter and looking for the weekly #FoleyFriday posts!

Want to train service dogs? Learn how to become a Canine Companions instructor.