I appreciate Guide Dogs for the Blind SO much! Yesterday we had our annual follow up visit. I always appreciate their visits and helping us work through any challenges or questions we might have and also gives us the opportunity to show our good work! Cricket is a really good guide dog. I love when I told my colleagues at work that Cricket was having her follow up they were ready to defend her! I explained its just like us having our yearly review! Cricket had a couple places - some curbs and a doorway at the agency where she would veer to the left. With Ashley's help we were able to work in these areas and realized that Cricket was concerned with the change of texture ... a rug at the agency office, the tactile bumps on the curb that she was trying to avoid. When I would leave the office at the agency she would not walk straight to the door - I have not been able to figure out why - she does it everywhere else. We realized its because they have a textured rug in front of the doorway that she doesn't want to put her princess paws on. Ashley gave me some helpful tips on working with the clicker and kibble to help reinforce to Cricket that textures can be okay (and actually rewarding)! I knew she had princess paws but hadn't connected her veering left with avoiding the textures. As mentioned, nothing major - she has worked hard to stay on her target while keeping her paws okay! Cricket and I will have fun encouraging her that her princess paws can do it!
Thanks, Ashley for your wonderful help with our little challenge.