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VCAL volunteers begin new partnerships

22/05/2019

This term the VCAL 10/11 Services students are going out to Bethlehem Aged Care to volunteer with the Lifestyle Team. In the first week, students did a meet and greet with the residents and played some games with them.

After Bethlehem and lunch, the students went out to Righteous Pups. This is the beginning of our partnership pathway together for the rest of the year.

The students were introduced to some of the “S Litter” pups and two “R Litter” pups. The students broke into pairs and it was their task to get the puppies to respond to commands of “yes”, “hi five”, “sit” and “down and wait”.

Apart from working with the puppies and learning strategies from the trainers the students will also be working on leadership skills and training.

In their second session at Righteous Pups, the students completed a game where they play dog and then trainer. The aim was to look at the psychology of how dogs think and react. The student who played the trainer needed a task to be done with a pile of toys. They were only allowed to use the following terms: “Yes” and “Good girl/boy”. The student who played the dog had to find out what the task was and the only guide they had were the trainer’s terms and use of voice.

Through the games the students saw the importance of clear commands, patience, strong and clear use of voice in trainers and the persistence and resilience of the puppies.

The puppies were then brought out where the students greeted their puppy from last week then practised the commands they were taught last week: “yes”, “sit”, “down”, “hi five”, “wait” and “release”. The students did well and were far more confident in dealing with their puppy.

Ms Jan Miletic, VCAL Teacher