The Girl Scouts in Vienna, VA invited our Canine Companions for Independence class to join their meeting on Thursday, 11/3/11. They met with the volunteer puppy raisers, PR, and heard about the extensive training that these dogs receive before they are given free of charge to someone in need. The PR’s socialize and work with the pups for about 18 months and then the dogs go to New York for more advanced training. Upon graduation they are matched with a recipient and additional training is provided. CCI maintains contact and helps whenever needed in order to make the experience successful for the person and the dog.
We demonstrated the shopping bag relay in which dogs were asked to walk nicely to a table, sit and wait patiently while a PR unpacked a shopping bag. Another exercise involved walking while ignoring a line of milkbones on the floor. We also showed the girls how the dogs practice being calm in tight places by asking them to stay under a chair. The majority of our time with these dogs involves teaching self-control.
Please see http://www.cci.org if you are interested in learning more about this great program.