"Not My Dog": Tales from Puppy Raising

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The IFT pictures

For those who are coming new to this process, the In For Training test basically tries to gauge how the dogs react to unexpected situations, and lets the GEB officials get a look at them. Dogs are handled by people they don't know. The GEB folks also have a lot of info about the dogs. I was trying to explain this to one friend, and the sports analogy I came up with was that it's kind of like an NFL combine for dogs -- they're trying to predict what dogs will be stars, understanding that they still have lots of training to go.

Anyway, it's a short, but nerve-wracking, process. Nettie had me worried -- she came out and was clearly already pretty wound up. I found out later that she was next to her kennel mate, so they were very interested in each other. Plus, the dogs don't use gentle leaders during the test, and Nettie had been using one a lot with me in training, with my RM's encouragement/blessing, to make sure that she didn't yank me off my (increasingly top-heavy) feet.

But, she made it. I'm fascinated watching the Guiding Eyes people and the dogs and trying to figure out what they're looking for. It can be very, very subtle body language. For instance, to my amateur eye, Nettie's sister Nadine looked good -- she was quieter than Nettie. But she was released.

Nettie was quite exuberant when they brought her in to see me after the test, but that seemed to be par for the course.

I also got to see her in the kennels. As I went to leave, I turned to walk away and she barked at me. I looked back to see her sitting with her head cocked, doing her eyebrow scrunch, as if to say 'Wait, aren't you going to let me out?' I had to get out of there.

Here are the pictures and my mental play-by-play:



Oh, Nettie! Less sniffing, more focus!




OK, thank you. Yes, pay attention to your handler.



The dreaded umbrella, but she seems to be ok...



Reunited after the test, and we finally convinced her to sit still .. for a minute.




And here she is (center dog) in the kennel.

3 Comments:

  • That's so neat they let you watch the IFT process. And, you get to see them in the kennels. What a neat thing to be able to watch. Congrats again on Nettie's passing her IFT's.

    By Blogger Lisa & Runza, At 10:21 PM  

  • I still maintain that I would pass out watching such a thing... but Nettie looks like she did great! What a happy face she has!

    By Blogger Emily, Maggie, Ellis, and Angel, At 10:57 PM  

  • It might be nerve-racking to you as mom, but Nettie looks like she had fun. ;) Look at that face!

    By Blogger kushal, At 4:06 AM  

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