For the past ten months, AKA Case Management has been sponsoring a dog from the charity, Dogs for Good.
“Mavis is growing into a very good looking girl; she is an affectionate, inquisitive and fun company. As she matures her behaviour both in the house and when out and about continues to improve, despite a few “teenage moments” every now and then. She is the friendliest dog, very nosy and always wanting to say hello to everyone she meets.
We recently took Mavis to the Cotswold Country Farm Park where they have lots of rare breed animals. Mavis loved the baby piglets and it was sweet seeing them nose to nose through the fence. She was unsure of the cows but found the bunnies fascinating. We often take her into the local shopping centre, incorporating a visit to Marks and Spencer’s café. Mavis loves excitement so puppy class is up there with her favourite activities! The classes cover a wide range of activities to help with general behaviour, specific commands or getting used to distractions and loud noises. Mavis thrives on the challenges and is beginning to focus more on her tasks and exert self-control. In recent classes we have
practiced basic obedience, using signals and body language as opposed to verbal commands, recall when we are out of sight of the puppy, loose lead walking, using a lead attached around our waists and the use of the wait and stay commands. In class we also introduce the puppies to lots of different items: hairdryers, umbrellas, stethoscopes, children’s push toys, prams, crutches and hats to name just a few. We’ve used some basic agility equipment such as tunnels and very low poles just off the floor.
At home, Mavis loves her footballs and her squeaky green ball. She has great fun chasing them around the garden. She is also very resourceful when it comes to toys and enjoys playing with a plastic plant pot as much as with any dog toy.” Marilyn, Socialiser
Regular one to one visits or group meetings are organised by Puppy Coordinator Vicki, to ensure Mavis is developing appropriately and Marilyn is transferring their training to the places Mavis may visit as a working dog. These visits provide tailored support to Marilyn, to ensure Mavis reaches her full potential.
“Mavis has progressed well over the last three months. Marilyn is working hard at consistency and giving Mavis lots of support to build her self-confidence. She is an enthusiastic participant at puppy class and enjoys showing off her skills. We practice all the basic commands: Sit, Stay, Wait, Down, Leave It and introduce distractions, so the dogs learn to concentrate and listen to their socialiser, not the things that are going on around. To become a successful assistance dog Mavis will need to learn to ignore other dogs and people whenout and about and also cope with the frustration of not being able to go and see them. This self-control work is a vital part of training.” Vicki, Puppy Coordinator
“Mavis basically likes doing anything and everything; she’s always up for a walk or trip to the supermarket, the more interesting the better. Her response to basic commands is excellent. We enjoyed taking Mavis on holiday recently. She loved the long coastal walks, trips into the local town and lots of swimming and digging on the beach. It was lovely to watch her having fun and we had a very tired but content puppy at the end of each day. Mavis loves her food and her favourite treat has to be chicken. She is very gentle taking all treats, except for chicken, for which she would take your hand off!
My husband left a plate of freshly cooked chicken on a plate and went into the garden, leaving Mavis alone thinking “yummy, Daddy left me a plate of my favourite food; she is so cheeky!” We are now practising being calm and relaxed when faced with things she wants but can’t have, like chips left on the floor in McDonalds or ignoring pigeons on lead.” Marilyn, Socialiser
We’ll be back with Mavis’ progress when she is 14 months old.