Phase 7

Banta in her trademark “relaxed” sit

Banta is doing so good. We are excited about her progress in her training. Each week when the phase report comes I almost hold my breath until I get to her name and see that indeed she has moved on the the next level. Keep it up Banta!

Phase 7 – Advanced Training
Obedience and Distraction Training
Guidework Training
Advanced training includes work in both suburban and urban areas, and requires forward-looking decision-making (initiative).
These routes can consist of:

  • City traffic patterns
  • Difficult crossings
  • Difficult clearance situation
  • Areas with a challenging line
  • Animal distractions
  • Surface issues
  • Curb approach challenges
  • Pedestrian islands
  • Crowded sidewalks
  • Different pedestrian climate
  • Additional city bus exposure
  • Additional rapid transit ride exposure
  • Additional and multiple escalators
  • Rounded corners

Escalator Training Continues
Platform Training Continues
Overhead Obstacle Clearance Training


11 Months Old

Casey holding a GoughNuts stick and a Nylabone ring

Our sweet Casey is 11 months old today. She is growing up into a really good dog. We are amazed at how confident she has become since those early days. We went to Cabelas today and she actually paid attention to the taxidermy bear they have on display. She would stick her head through the railing to get as close a look as possible. Then she let out one of those deep low barks that means “don’t mess with me.” I gave her a correction for barking but it was rather funny. Since she is 11 months old lets see if I can come up with 11 things that I enjoy about Casey:

  1. Calm – she is still the calmest dog we have raised or even puppy sat
  2. Loves walks – I think all dogs love walks
  3. Belly Girl – she loves to lay on her back with her belly to the sky
  4. Chewer – since January she has become a very effective chewer (note the chewed off end of the GoughNuts stick in the photo)
  5. Double toys – she loves to pick up two toys at once (see photo)
  6. Chunky – we have been cutting back her food for several months now and I think she is finally slimming up a bit
  7. Social – she is great at giving people just the right look to get them to interact with her
  8. Gentle – she is amazing with little kids even babys
  9. Tug – she plays tug in her own unique way – I call it virtual tug because we take turns letting each other win
  10. Crazy – she has this wild and crazy side that she likes to show sometimes by tearing around the house – she especially likes to do this with Bill when he makes a little play faint at her
  11. Caring – she is a natural at being a therapy dog and is sensitive to those who need some comfort

We are really enjoying raising Casey and look forward to see how she will mature in the next few months that we have her here. There is a puppy truck coming on May 13th and puppy #4 might be on that truck. We should find out in the next couple of weeks. I sure hope we can continue the trend and get a “D” puppy.

Phase 6


This phase was an extra week in coming. I’ve wondered what she might be having trouble with. Maybe body handling or distraction issues. I’ve also heard about some dogs with kennel cough. That would slow down her training too if she were sick. But whatever the delay our Banta has finally made it to phase 6. Way to go girl!

Phase 6 – Urban Challenges

  • Obedience and Distraction Training
  • Advanced Guidework Training
  • NEW! Sidewalkless Technique Introduction
  • NEW! Platform Edge Intro and Exposure Work
  • NEW! Light Rail, Subway systems
  • Obstacle Course Progression
  • Pre-Matches for Select Clients
  • Socialization Programs
  • Leash relieving exposure on cement begins.

Clifford Sleepover

Clifford and Casey

Clifford came to stay at our house for a few days while his new family went to St. George. He has been to our house for sleepovers before while he was a puppy in training. It has been fun to have Clifford part of my extended family since my sister adopted him. Clifford was career changed from Guide Dogs for the Blind for cataracts. They are still searching to find the right training so Clifford can help her boys as much as possible with their challenges.

Casey and Clifford has lots of fun together. They are rather kindred spirits in that they are both rather calm laid back dogs. They can even go for walks together without any trouble. We really enjoyed having Clifford stay with us and it is so great to have another dog in the family, especially one as special as Clifford

Phase 5

Banta along the Jordan River Trail

The phase reports are put out on Thursdays and all week long I look forward to Thursdays. Then I anxiously check my email through the day to see if it has come in yet. Then I almost hold my breath to see if Banta has made it to the next level. This week she did it again. Another week another level.

PHASE 5 –Traffic Training & City Work

  • Advanced Obedience and Distraction Training
  • Advanced Guidework Training
  • City Routes (San Francisco/Portland)
  • Intensive Indoor Mall and Store Training
  • NEW! Escalator Introductions and Training – Boarding/Riding/Exiting
  • Notable Accomplishment – Formal Traffic Training
  • NEW! Total Barricade Training
  • Obstacle Course Progression
  • Body Handling Acceptance
  • Socialization Programs
  • Vet Meeting – Review of Health