Reno Philharmonic Rehearsal Helps Puppies Train to Be Guide Dogs - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Reno Philharmonic Rehearsal Helps Puppies Train to Be Guide Dogs

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Twenty-five puppies are training to be guide dogs for the blind. 

On Wednesday night, they got a special lesson at the Pioneer Theater in Downtown Reno. The four legged helpers learned how to behave during a classical music performance, while the Reno Philharmonic rehearsed for an upcoming concert. 

The purpose is to get the puppies comfortable in any kind of scenario.

Vicki Moss, one of the co-founders for Eyes for Tomorrow Puppy Club of Reno said, "The tambourines going off,  the drums rolling, trumpets playing. All noises most puppies don't get exposed to."

Typically you won't see dogs inside a theater, but these puppies were allowed in to watch the Reno Phil play, so they can train to be guide dogs. 

Kaesa Aanestad, a puppy raiser with Eyes for Tomorrow said, "We try to take the puppies to places to expose them to situations they might encounter later on in their working life."

The tough assignment: sit still and be quiet. 

Other than a few complaints, the dogs completed their lesson. But their training is only a small part of what they'll be capable of in the future. 

"In a situation like this, the dog will be trained to find an aisle and then find an open seat and they are taught to find the door if the person wants to go outside. And the dog will take them to the nearest outside exit," adds Moss. 

The Eyes for Tomorrow Puppy Club is fostering the puppies until they become old enough to be trained by the national organization, Guide Dogs for the Blind. 

Puppies like Nella are with their puppy raisers for the time being and they stay with them up until they're 15 to 18 months old. They learn everything from basic manners to obedience skills, before they can move on to their professional guide training. 

Moss said, "It's nice to see them when they go off to their next stage to be with a blind person, help with their mobility and companionship."

If the dogs successfully complete the training, they will be assigned to someone who is visually impaired. 

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