First Week At BCCS
This past week, I attended a mock client training at Bergin College of Canine Studies. During this week, the students learned the commands that Bergin uses and how to work with Bergin dogs. Our first day, we were there for ten and a half hours! It was a LONG day of learning after being on summer break for the past couple months.
The first couple days we rotated between the dogs, so the staff could watch us interact with the different personalities of the dogs. They already had a general idea of the best dogs for us to work with because of the social styles surveys the students had their family and friends fill out before we even got there. The photo to the left is Noosa, one of the dogs I got to work with.
I had a little bit of a leg up since I had worked with Service Dogs in the past. It helped that we used a lot of the same cues in ADEPT that they do at Bergin. Even though both programs are training Service Dogs and using similar cues, that doesn't mean they were exactly the same. One of the biggest challenges at Bergin is that they don't spay and neuter the dogs until they are around two years old. This leads to the boys being a little (and by a little, I mean a lot) distracted by all the pretty girls in the room, especially when the girls are coming into their heat cycles.
The pictures above show the moment I was partnered up with the dog I would be working with. His name is Yorba, and he is just the sweetest guy! He is a Golden Retriever/Labrador Retriever, and his favorite command is "lap" which is where he rests his upper half on his human's legs. I actually saw a lot of similarities between him and Charlie, the last dog I worked with in the ADEPT program. They are both super goofy, smart, and snuggly pups. Yorba was definitely VERY interested in the ladies around him which was a challenge for me to work around as his handler. I had to become the most interesting thing in the room (which is difficult when the other things in the room are pretty unspayed girl dogs). We worked through it though, and once I got Yorba's focus, I discovered he is a super motivated and smart dog.
We spent some time bonding and worked on some of the commands we had learned. We also brought our new doggies to lecture with us. We very quickly discovered that we would have to split them up and bring the boys to some lectures and the girls to others since all they could focus on was each other and not being calm, quiet members of the classroom. Yorba ended up being very attentive after the females left and then took a nice long nap. It has been a long, challenging, but also rewarding week. I have learned a few new things and also expanded on some old things. Until next time, stay pawsome!
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Intern with ADEPT (Assistance Dog Education Program and Training). Dog mom. Creative Writing major. Wannabe author. YouTube creator.