Toula learns to retrieve and heel - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Toula learns to retrieve and heel


My training has been going really well and I'm happy to share with you all that I'm learning.

I know my name and ‘sit' like the back of my paw and I've been working really hard on ‘down', ‘heel', ‘nose it', ‘tug', ‘stand', retrieving items for my trainer and leash walking!

I know that may seem like a lot for a young pup like me, but we start out simple and continue working on each skill throughout my time in the program.

All of the skills I learn to become a service dog are done through a progression known as shaping.

For example, I started learning ‘nose it' by touching my nose on a post-it note on my trainers hand.

After numerous stages of shaping, I will be using my nose to close the fridge door, close cabinets, push the Handicap door button and more.

I truly enjoy my training sessions and I'm happy to learn.

One of the great aspects of WAGS is that they use positive reinforcement for training, this means that when I do something right, I get lots of praise and super yummy treats.

If I don't do it right, we just keep at it until I get it, they make it fun to learn.

Training this way may take a little bit longer, but it makes for a much more positive experience for me and my pup friends.

In this video I am showing off some of the skills that I'm currently working on – I particularly enjoy bringing dropped items back to my trainer, Jesi.


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