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Final update on Horace our Dogs for Good sponsor dog


Following our charity walk in October 2015 we were able to join the Dogs for Good Puppy Partners Club and have been sponsoring the training of assistance dog Horace. This is the last update we will get on Horace before he starts on his new adventure with a trainer where he will follow a physical disability training programme.

 

Horace is now fifteen months old.  It’s been a busy year: - our socialisers are tasked with caring for their puppy’s well-being, including carrying out routine health checks, ensuring they are the correct weight, and grooming.  They attend monthly puppy classes to develop their training and Julia, their puppy coordinator, visits regularly to give tailored support, so Horace reaches his full potential.

“Horace is a very friendly and sociable young dog, full of character.  He is very happy to meet everybody and definitely enjoys all the attention he gets.  People always comment on his long legs and very shiny coat.  He is full of energy and enthusiasm and loves playing with his tennis ball.  He would happily play all day long, if he could.  At home he enjoys playing with his collection of cuddly toys, especially the squeaky ones.  His favourite is Monkey, who he likes to carry round.  When you arrive home he greets you at the door, tail wagging furiously, with Monkey in his mouth, which is lovely.  On the lead Horace knows to wait at doorways and gates, until invited to go through and sits at the kerb until given the command ‘cross’.  His lead walking is good, although if he realises we’re going to a ‘fun place’ he will get excited and start to pull.” 

Sonia, Socialiser


 

For the first six months Horace’s socialiser focused on providing routine and consistency. She spent time socialising Horace around lots of people and animals, and visiting as many different places as possible.  The focus after this then changes to transferring the training completed at home or in puppy classes to ‘real-life’ situations and environments: such as ensuring Horace comes back when called if walking in the park and helping him learn to settle in busy places such as cafés and restaurants. 

"Horace is a lovely boy, with an endearing cheeky streak. He knows all his basic commands and is a very enthusiastic participant at puppy class. He enjoys making new friends, although he can get a little overexcited. Not all dogs like rough and tumble games as much as Horace does!"

Julia, Puppy Coordinator


 

Our puppies return to the Frances Hay Centre to begin their formal training at around the age of seventeen months, although this does vary, depending on how emotionally mature and responsive to training they are.  Coordinator Julia has been assessing Horace over the last few months and reports that he is doing well.  Until it’s time for Horace to begin his formal training, Sonia will continue to attend puppy classes on a regular basis, to reinforce Horace’s basic commands.

 

"We enjoy being able to take Horace everywhere we go. He travels well and is always keen to join in with whatever’s going on.  He loves his food and knows that I always have a tasty stash of treats to reward good behaviour. His favourite treat is his Kong toy, which we fill with a mixture of kibble and soft cheese or frozen banana.  We make sure that each week we visit a variety of different places; retail parks, garden centres, vets, doctors, supermarkets and our local high street shops.  Horace enjoys our monthly puppy class and, once he’s said hello to everyone, will settle nicely and concentrate.  Horace loves his free time, especially when we meet up with other dogs for a free run in the local woods.  He likes splashing through the streams.  He is very good with his recall command and will always run back to us the instant we call.  We’re very proud of Horace and hope that he will do really well when he starts his formal training.”

Sonia, Socialiser

There is still a lot of learning and fun ahead for Horace and the coming weeks will be difficult for Sonia and her family as the time for saying goodbye draws closer.

 



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