One of the routes we begin with in Seeing Eye dog training is the Maple Street route here in Morristown. This is a residential area which has been converted into offices, etc. Streets are quiet, traffic is minimal, sidewalks are obvious.
Expectations for the Maple Street route are low. After all, these dogs have only been with us a little more than 24 hours. Training this morning consisted of the route (about six blocks in total) with a trainer close at hand. Attached, actually. Because we're trying to develop bonds with our dog, the corrections have to come from the trainer. However, in the two different times I did the Maple route today, Garrett needed no corrections. Even if he DID need corrections, there's lots and lots of grace involved. He's just a newbie to working with me. However, not a single punitive word, not a leash correction-nothing. Will this be the same tomorrow? One day at a time, but if today is any indication, he'll fall into step nicely.
Plus, winter weather has arrived to Jersey. The second route was in the middle of a cold drizzle. Not exactly fun, and in inclement weather, we expect the dogs to make more mistakes. Surprisingly, though, other than a little extra sniffing of the air, Garrett didn't falter. This, as I'm well aware, could just be beginner's luck.
More tomorrow from the dog world! Thanks again to everyone for all the Facebook messages and support of this new working team!