Thursday 29 July 2021

Assistance Dog 101: Grounding

Our final day of Placement week was a very low key day. As we'd passed the public access test on the previous day, we went through a few of Henry's skills just to make sure that we were confident. We did one last training run at our local Woolworths and praticed Henry grounding.
When we reach the edge of the footpath or the curb, Henry is given the command to wait. He's trained not to move from the wait until he is given the next command.
L often needs reminding to stop, or at times he will walk/run straight into traffic. L has no sense of danger and very little safety awareness, so he will run out onto roads. With Henry, L has his own lead to hold onto that is attached to the left side of Henry's vest.
When Henry feels L pulling at that lead, Henry grounds himself because he hasn't been given the command to walk. Henry plants himself and on our final placement day, L, and myself, saw that Henry cannot be budged no matter how hard L pulls on his lead.

It is uncomfortable for Henry, as his vest and body is pulled in two directions - his own body weight keeping him grounded and L pulling at the vest. Henry received lots of praise and pats.
This is yet another strategy that will help keep L safe in the community ❤

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