If you have been following Kinkeade’s journey, you know he has been hard at work in professional training at the Kinkeade Campus. Over the last several months he has learned new commands, perfected the commands that his puppy raiser taught him and even ventured out on field trips.
In his last blog, Kinkeade had just learned the “get” command. Now, that command has been expanded to include deliveries. Kinkeade can retrieve an item off the floor and deliver it to someone in a wheelchair using commands such as “step.”
Some of Kinkeade’s other new commands include “light” and “switch,” which will allow him to turn on and off lights for the person he may be matched with. Kinkeade has also been working on the “tug” command. This command might be used to open doors, drawers or refrigerators, or even to tug a laundry basket across the floor.
It’s not all work for these pups in professional training, though. At Canine Companions, the dogs abide by the “work hard, play hard” motto. Kinkeade loves to play outside with his dog friends, especially if it involves the pool!
Kinkeade gets daily walks and lots of playtime, but the majority of the time is spent with his trainer. By the time each dog is matched with someone with a disability, he or she knows up to 40 commands. When the time comes for him to graduate, Kinkeade’s skill set will provide his new partner with enhanced independence.
Canine Companions has a growing need for volunteer puppy raisers to help prepare dogs like Kinkeade to succeed in professional training. If you are interested in volunteering to raise a puppy like Kinkeade, visit cci.org/raise.