3 July 2014

Update on Finley the dog

Part of our partnership with Dogs for the Disabled involves sponsoring a dog through its training and socialisation which takes two years to complete...

In August 2013 we paired with “Finley”, a Labrador/Golden Retriever cross who was born on 27th of March. Our sponsorship allows Finley to be trained as a special assistance dog. Hopefully after his training Finley will be placed with someone who can benefit from his help.

On 30th of May 2014 Finley arrived at the Frances Hay Centre to begin his early training. He has been assigned to Geraldine Mangan, one of our experienced trainers and she will be working with him over the next few months teaching him a whole range of task skills. His early training will cover a period of approximately 16 weeks and he will have to pass assessments at 6, 12 and 16 weeks before moving on to the next level. This stage includes the dogs getting used to travelling in the vans, walks in a quiet residential location, walking to heal and listening out for the “clicker” each trainer uses to “mark” a correct response from the dog, followed by a treat.

The next stage will be that through “play” mode, Geraldine will introduce elements that will evolve into constructive assistance work. Geraldine reports that Finley is a bright chap who learns things quickly. He has a good standard of general obedience. His heel work is improving and he has already been introduced to the manual wheelchair. Finley particularly loves a cuddle and will try to sit on Geraldine’s lap if she is sitting on the floor.

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