Poncho, named by PetSmart, isn’t so little anymore! Poncho turned 1 year old on September 30, and he’s growing into a remarkable, well-socialized Canine Companions dog. At 13 months of age, Poncho is busy working on some extremely important commands that will help teach advanced commands once Poncho enters professional training at Canine Companions Southwest Regional Training Center.

Mellow Poncho is currently working on the “visit” command, which places his head gently on his handler’s lap, and “back,” which tells Poncho to walk backwards in a straight line. These two skills will come in handy as a Canine Companions assistance dog when learningimg_2356 to tug open doors and deliver dropped items.

“Poncho still loves the ‘sit’ command,” says puppy raiser Jolie. “It’s always accompanied by a pat on the head and he has loved ‘sit’ from puppyhood.” He also love playmates with his Canine Companions puppy friends. Always a social butterfly and happy to meet as many people as he can, Poncho has been on a vacation, to church and getting socialization at the mall.

Puppy raiser Jolie has cherished every moment of raising Poncho. In a few months, Jolie knows Poncho will be on his way to professional training, learning to become a Canine Companions assistance dog. “He’s so smart, kind and loving,” she says. “He’s going to be hard to turn in for professional training, but I know Canine Companions’ program works and Poncho was bred to do great things. I’m sure that’s exactly what he will end up doing.”

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