Gino, service dog-in-training, giddyups for rodeo crowds

Canine learns how to manage in large crowds

By Concetta Callahan - Anchor/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - KSAT's adopted guide dog Gino is only days into advanced training and he is well on his way to becoming a guide dog.

The training comes just in time for the rodeo; not just for cowboys and cowgirls, but for Gino too! He's only three days into advanced training and he really responds to his trainer, Sarah Mumme.

"He's a lot of fun to train. He's already been stopping for curbs, steps and finding things, so he's a superstar," said Mumme.

On this particular day, Gino is learning crowd work techniques.

Mumme said visually impaired persons often prefer using a guide dog in large crowds over a cane.

"With a cane, your cane gets stuck in people's ankles, so the dog's crowd work is one of our client's favorite things so it is really important that he learns it," she said.

As Gino approached a family, he stopped and went around them and their stroller.

He was tested again and guided his trainer right around folks as they were walking through the grounds.

Gino's already learning the meaning of simple words, like "seat" or "can."

"If you are out to dinner with friends you may want to be able to sit down at your table so you can tell your dog to go find the seat and when you're done with your food it is nice to be able to throw it away and not have someone else do it for you," Mumme explained.

Keep up with Gino’s progress

Gino heads to the hospital

Checking in with KSAT 12's guide dog, Gino

KSAT 12's adopted guide dog in training, Gino, heads to the Alamo

Mumme said Gino is in the early stages of learning these commands, but was able to find a seat.
And with a little more work he found the trash can.

But don't worry, he won't be tempted to eat any food he finds on the ground.

He's a really smart pup.

Just about everyone is tempted by all the good food at the rodeo. But not Gino. He steps over french fries and other scraps on the floor.

He is a trainee who is seriously focused.

Gino will be in advanced training for 6-9 months. The canine will then be placed with a client this holiday season and train with them for about three weeks.

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