"Hi I'm Stig although I am fondly known as Stiggles, Herbert and Git!"
I'm going to tell you about how we dogs are trained as Teaching Dogs as the Instructors are always being asked this.
Becoming a Teaching Dog is actually quite fun, well for me anyway. When the instructors bring a new puppy into their lives they have already been assessed at 6-8 weeks old for their suitability to teach.
The instructors are looking for a puppy that is forward going, fearless and resists being cuddled. As you already know, dogs are born for leadership and then they have to prove they have the skills to lead.
In my case I am being educated as to how to police situations and how to reprimand bad behaviour. I am not a leader and nor do I want to be.
It is important that we are bought up by dogs. That we are given our education as to the canine side of our lives and we are given full access and full permission to be what we are.
This means that during the age of birth to around 9 months old we are only given basic obedience lessons, our recall is worked on and we are taught that teeth are not permitted. Other than that the dogs teach us what is acceptable and what is not.
At around 9 months old our education in obedience really begins. We are taught that our handlers and the other instructors must be listened to and that we learn commands that direct us to policing situations and bad behaviour.
As you can imagine this is not an easy task and every Teaching Dog in training is very different.