As the rest of us settle back into the school routine, Foley continues to learn more and more as the days go by. Now, Foley goes to school with the “big” kids. He’s no longer in the younger puppy class but has moved on to be an upperclassman. Foley loves puppy class because he gets to see so many friends. He’s especially excited when he sees his brother, Finnian!
Now, during class and outside of class, Foley is working on “proofing” the commands he already knows. He is expected to stay in a sitting or down position, depending on what is asked of him, while his puppy raiser walks to the end of the leash and around his body. This teaches him to stay in the position no matter what is happening or who is moving around him.
Foley is also working on the “bed” command. This is a fun command, which Foley loves because he gets to lie down and relax for extended periods of time. This command comes in handy at home when Foley isn’t expected to be working but needs to be anchored to one spot. When his puppy raisers says, “bed,” Foley is expected to find the closest designated area. A bed could be a small blanket or a big comfy bed. The idea is to ensure that Foley knows to lie down in that designated area and stay there until he is released. Sometimes, Foley might be asked to share a bed! Being comfortable sharing a bed can come in handy when he has friends over or if he ends up living with another dog in the future.
As Foley’s understanding of the “bed” command gets stronger, he will start practicing from greater distances. The goal will be that no matter where Foley is in his house, when he is given the “bed” command, he should go to his bed. This is especially important for his future as an assistance dog. If Foley is matched with someone who has limited mobility, they can simply say, “bed” and off Foley will go to his bed, thus allowing his person to carry on.
In the coming months, Foley will continue to study hard to learn more commands and proof those he already knows.