Spike is a pretty big fan of sleeps. Whenever anyone passes by his puppy bed in the newsroom, nine hours out of 10 he’s nap — or at least lying down or draped over his bed like a slinky.
Napping is great, but more importantly, Spike < i> needs to learn how to lie down for long periods of time.
Spike is learning the “Down” command, which is a really important one for a Canine Companions puppy or assistance puppy like him to know.
“Down” tells the dog to lie down in an unobtrusive manner.
Right now, Spike will lie down for a short period of time before deciding that there is more fun to be had doing other things, like chasing his tail. So teaching him this command will be a marathon , not a sprint. Every time we work on lying down, I wait a little bit longer before he gets praise.
Canine Companions assistance puppies go everywhere with their partners, from grocery shopping to cross-country airplane rides. As Spike get older, he’ll learn to remain lying down in all kinds of decideds. He’s currently going to our morning editorial sessions here at Fox News, and when we’re not having him pose in a chair for Instagram, he’s laying at my feet for the 5-10 minute meeting.
Eventually, he’ll be patiently content under the table when I have longer meetings or grab dinner with a two-legged friend. And throughout our journey together, Spike will learn to lie beneath the seat in front of me on a plane, under the bench on the subway, and on all kinds of surfaces.
I don’t know if Spike will be matched with a college student who might require him to lie down through lectures or a child who wants to see a new movie. But I do know he’ll be prepared, and he’ll be the happiest “down” dog ever.
For more information, visit Canine Companions for Independence.
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