SAN ANTONIO – KSAT 12 this past weekend checked in on Gino, our adopted dog with The Guide Dogs of Texas.
We introduced you to him when he was just a puppy eleven months ago.
He’s come a long way in his training since then. The pup is socializing more and learning to stay focused around large crowds.
And what better way to test that?
Our city's biggest attraction, of course. The Alamo!
Downtown San Antonio is great for crowd work.
Handlers with the Guide Dogs of Texas said it's because there's so much going on. The dogs really get a chance to focus.
"You see lots of tourists, lots of crowds that want to come up to and pet him," Jamie Massey, Manager, Early K9 Programs said.
Families with children get excited to pet Gino while he’s training.
"We need the dogs to be able to practice being greeted and doing it without getting overly excited and maintain concentration on their handler," Massey said.
Today while Gino was walking around the Alamo, a little girl wanted to pet him. Jamie said Gino did well. He went up to the stroller and sniffed it out, all while staying calm. Another thing Gino's working on is staying focused in the heat.
Temperatures are now in the mid to upper 90s. It's important Gino doesn't overheat and get lazy. And just like humans, dogs need to stay hydrated too.
Handlers said dogs cool off best through their paws.
"If you feel like your dog is overheating you can get a bottle of water and pour it on their feet and also get underneath their legs and they're going to cool off the best through there," Massey said.
Dogs, like Gino, are generally in the puppy training program for a year to two years before entering advanced training that's another six months.
So, Gino will be matched with a client by the time he's two-years-old.
Gino's next assessment is January 2017.
It'll be then instructors will determine whether or not Gino is ready to move to advance training early.