Canine Partner in training: Forester is coming on leaps and bounds!

Little Forester may only be six months old but he is already well on his way to becoming an amazing assistance dog for Canine Partners, a charity that trains dogs to transform the lives of disabled people.

The young pup is being sponsored by Foresters Friendly Society, as part of our President’s Annual Appeal, so that he can go through puppy school – the first stage of Canine Partners training. And he is enjoying every minute of it.

Forester has spent the last few months exploring Hampshire, where he lives with his puppy parent, who will look after him until he is between 14 and 16 months old. Then he will start advanced training at one of Canine Partners’ special training centres in West Sussex and in Leicestershire.

Puppy School and Early Training

In the first stage of his training Forester has been doing lots of socialising, walking, free running and playing while also learning basic obedience. He has explored many different types of shops, including his favourite – pet shops! He’s also been on trips to the hairdressers and even visited a train station and the beach. Future outings will include his first ride on a train and a bus, plus a trip to a local Country Park where he will have his first experience of meeting farm animals including sheep, pigs and goats.

All of these outings help him to learn about the different environments he might find himself in once he is a fully trained Canine Partners assistance dog, and also help him learn to stay focussed and calm in new surroundings. He was put to the test on a recent visit to our office in Southampton, despite the initial excitement he kept calm and listened to commands and most importantly didn’t bark at all.

Forester is always trying to please people around him, which is an excellent trait for an assistance dog as it is important that they want to help their human partner with any tasks they may need support with.

Advanced Training and Graduation

Canine Forester in the officeForester is just a small way through his 18 month training programme. The advanced stages of his training will teach him how to open doors, push buttons, load and unload washing machines and pick up a range of objects which a disabled person may drop. All of this will take approximately three months to complete.

Before Forester graduates, he will be specially matched to his new human partner. The pair will spend two weeks at the training centre learning how to work together. Forester will then move in with his human partner and begin his new life with them as an amazing assistance dog – transforming their life and boosting their confidence.

Our Partnership with Canine Partners

Canine Partners is extremely grateful to Foresters Friendly Society for sponsoring Forester and for planning and taking part in a calendar of fundraising activities. The charity receives no government funding so relies on donations from members of the public and organisations like Foresters Friendly Society.

As at mid-November 2016, our Annual Appeal has raised over £13,000 in support of Canine Partners. For all the latest news and information on the appeal, including upcoming events you can get involved in, please visit our Annual Charity Appeal page.

For more information on Canine Partners please visit their website.

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