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We can learn a lot from dogs

A hearing dog puppy

Some of my clients already know but in October 2014 I took on the role of Volunteer Puppy Socialiser for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.  We only planned to do holiday cover but when we got a call asking if we would take a puppy full time…. well you can guess what we said!

Willis arrived at the age of 11 weeks and took about 3 seconds to steal our hearts.  It will be hard to let him go but we have always known he has a very important job to do.

Working in Learning and Development has helped understand how to train him but I have learnt so much more.  These puppies go on to make such a massive difference to a deaf person’s life that you absolutely cannot get the training wrong.  Hearing Dogs will never fail a dog though.  They work with the individual personalities of the puppies and always manage to place them with the right person.

If you’d like to find out more, click here here .

So now, every day, I am reminded of what good learning should look like.

  • Sessions are always short and positive
  • The learning is always reward based
  • The reward is sufficient to ensure motivation
  • Criteria increases slowly
  • Behaviours are learnt in different contexts
  • The learner must never be fearful or anxious
  • The learner must never be stressed

Willis and I are off to do another few minutes training while the kettle boils and I am reminded to put the learner first.

After all, they all have important jobs to do too!

Published 2nd July 2015