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Help us train Keano to be a legend!

Meet Puppy in Training Keano, named after our Ambassador Roy Keane! Scroll down to follow Keano's training journey with Puppy Raiser Clare.

Click here to find out more about puppy raising.

Roy Keane holding Puppy Keanos
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    April

    Time to head to Big School!

    The day has finally arrived for Keano to head to the Training Centre to begin formal training. It's an emotional goodbye for Puppy Raiser Clare and her family who have done an amazing job with Keano, but they can be assured that their dedication will ultimately have a life-changing impact on someone's life. Keep an eye on this page to see how he progresses.

    March

    Keano sitting beside a racing car

    A day at the races!

    Keano spent some time at a race track - a familiar location for him as it's a favourite pastime of his puppy raising family. Not a bother on him with the noise and people. Clare says; "He's just totally chilled. He's such a happy puppy and we're just so delighted to have been given the opportunity to puppy raise him".

    Keano standing on a pavement looking straight to camera

    Soon heading to BIG school!

    Keano will soon be heading back to our Training Centre to start formal training. Puppy Raiser Clare says; "We aren't looking forward to handing Keano back. He’s been such fun and is so full of energy. He has an amazing personality. He is great in shops, loves his walks and free runs...loves his food (his favourite are carrots and chicken). He’s a big water baby. The whole family is going to miss Keano so much - he’s been just a pleasure to have. We've loved every second of it."

    February

    Keen to travel!

    At 60 weeks old is doing amazingly well with his training according to Puppy Raiser Clare. He's confident in shops and loves meeting people when he's out on his walks. He is travelling very comfortably and confidently on public transport where he's always well-behaved and calm.

    January

    An exciting year ahead!

    At 13 months of age, Keano is working on increasing his engagement and focus in busier environments. He is walking really well with the support of a head collar, which is an excellent training tool to help with teaching dogs to walk nicely on a leash.

    December

    Keano looking to the left of the camera. A Christmas tree is in the background.

    KEANO'S FIRST BIRTHDAY!

    Keano is one today, Friday 15 December. What an incredible year he has had and what a year to look forward to. He really is a very special dog and wants to make friends with every animal and person he meets. He has a very bright future ahead. Happy Birthday, Keano!

    Keano sitting in front of a display of reindeer

    Week 50

    Keano is getting ready for this first Christmas. He has progressed so well. Puppy Raiser Clare says nothing fazes him; he's very good in shops despite all the decorations, trees and crowds.

    Keano looking through fencing at a goat

    Week 49

    Keano is fascinated by other animals - here he is meeting Betty the goat!

    Keano sitting on a path beside Naas Racecourse

    Week 48

    Plenty of exercise is required to keep Keano healthy but it's also an important part of his training - walking in different environments, amongst different sounds and potential distractions.

    November

    Keano sitting on grass alongside his sister Kylie

    Week 45

    Aged 45 weeks now, Keano is getting so big. He enjoys his time off having fun with his sister Kylie. Look how fast they are!

    October

    Keano lying down on a wooden floor

    Week 42

    During a free run, Keano decides to become one with nature by coating himself in mud. Clare is relieved that Keano loves being washed!

    Keano lying down on a wooden floor

    Week 41

    Keano has his follow-up visit to the podiatrist. Due to Clare making sure Keano’s first visit was super positive, he is not at all stressed to go back. As you can see, he is totally relaxed in the waiting room. Of course getting treats from the vet staff helped with this. A team effort.

    Keano walking up concrete steps

    Week 40

    Keano has a play date with fellow Puppy in Training Figaro. “All work and no play…..” applies to our pups in training too. It is important to have balance between physical activity, cognitive activity and rest. Offering a few playdates per week is a great way to get some energy out, build social skills and have fun.

    September

    Keano walking up concrete steps

    Week 39

    Keano learns to take his time negotiating steps. His future owner will need to be confident in Keano's ability to safely navigate them up and down steps and stairs.

    Keano sitting in a kitchen with his paw bandaged

    Week 39

    Poor Keano cut his paw whilst out walking. Most dogs hate the vets, therefore it's important to train a pup to have a positive experience so they are not anxious. Clare made sure she gave Keano lots of positive associations e.g. yummy treats. After only a couple of days rest he was up running about as normal!

    Keano's face close up as he looks into the camera of a mobile phone

    Week 38

    A pup's curiosity knows no bounds! Keano takes control of Puppy Raiser Clare's mobile!

    August

    Keano lying on the floor under a seat in mass.

    Week 36

    The goal of puppy raising is to train the puppy to become well-mannered and socialised. At 36 weeks Keano is on track in his journey to become a Guide Dog or Assistance Dog. Here he is being so well-behaved whilst attending mass in Naas Church.

    Training is tiring and Keano takes a moment to sleepy lie on a little bed while enjoying the August sun coming through the window.

    Week 34

    Learning new skills can be tiring. Keano takes a moment during his busy day to doze while enjoying the August sun. He enjoys the company of a little teddy which he is cuddling. A few moments rest and he will be off exploring and training again.

    Keano sitting on grass with his sister Kylie and another four-legged pal

    Week 32

    Keano has a playdate with his sister Kylie and another pal whom Keano manages to jump over! Regular free runs are essential throughout a dog's working life - allowing them time out of harness and downtime from the responsibility of keeping their owner safe.

    Keano sitting on the floor at the groomers holding up his paw while a member of staff looks at this nails

    Week 31

    Busy morning as Keano pays a first visit to the groomers for a wash and a nail trimming - an important task to ensure he remains healthy. He was terrific as always and the staff loved him, using treats to distract him as his nails were examined.

    July

    Video showing Keano playing with a football in grass

    Week 29

    Pups are curious about everything and free runs are a great opportunity to widen their world. On his free run, Keano is confused about an item he hadn't seen before. He might need some dribbling lessons from an expert. Think we might know someone who can help!

    Video showing Keano lying on his back on the sofa. He slowly moves and opens his eyes.

    Week 29

    Advancing his socialisation skills, Keano takes his first trip on the Luas tram. He calmly waits on the platform with Clare and with, words of encouragement, he steps on to the Luas. Despite it being very busy, Keano takes it all in his stride. Great progress!

    June

    Video showing Keano lying on his back on the sofa. He slowly moves and opens his eyes.

    Week 25

    Keano has sneaked off for a snooze on the sofa...which is not allowed. Rather than startle him whilst he is still sleepy, Clare will instead gently reinforce over time that sleeping on the sofa is not acceptable. It can be a hazard for a vision impaired person or simply just not liked in someone's home.

    Video showing Keano rolling around on grass

    Week 25

    Having a playful roll in the grass during a chilled morning walk. Rolling in grass can be related to masking his scent, letting other dogs know he was there or just simply having fun!

    Video showing Keano standing in a garage with race cars around him

    Week 25

    Another weekend spent racing. Not a bother on Keano - totally chilled! As always, Puppy Raiser Clare will be looking for signs of stress and will remove Keano from the environment, if necessary.

    Keano lying on a platform with Clare's hand petting him

    Week 24

    Keano becomes acquainted with the noise of a train station before boarding a train for the first time. As ever, he's taking everything in his stride with the comforting words of Clare to soothe any nerves.

    Video of Keano on a beach walking and digging the sane

    Week 24

    Keano takes a trip to the beach. Digging in the sand and dipping his paws in the sea for the first time. He's loving it.

    Keano sitting in the back of a camper van looking at the camera

    Week 21

    Keano checks out the accommodation as he gets set for his first trip in a camper van.

    May

    Video showing Keano walking into a lift, standing at Clare's feet and then walking out of the lift

    Week 11

    Keano tries a lift for the first time. He's very curious but quite relaxed. His future Guide Dog owner or Assistance Dog owner will have great freedom knowing Keano can navigate different aspects of everyday life.

    Keano walking on lead walking in a shopping centre

    Week 11

    Keano taking a trip to the shopping centre. On these outings, he will be slowly exposed to one or two new stimuli such lifts, escalators, etc. It is important to not expose Keano to too much too quickly.

    Keano and Kylie chasing each other through grass

    Week 10

    A play date with sister Kylie. Playdates are a great way to work on recalls as the pup would surely rather play with their buddy than return to their human. What better way to teach Keano that if he returns to Clare, his reward is to play again.

    Keano walking on a path with a collar on him

    Week 10

    Clare has taken the desensitisation to the next step - first day outside on the lead with the head collar. As the head collar is a training aid only, the ultimate goal is to be to have him walk without it someday.

    Keano sitting on the floor in the hairdressers

    Week 9

    Keano’s first visit to the hairdressers. Once again experiencing normal every day life.

    Keano having his collar put on

    Week 9

    Clare begins the desensitisation process with Keano wearing his head collar. Desensitisation is exposing Keano to the head collar slowly to a level where he can cope with it on with no fuss.

    April

    Keano walking along a country road staring at cows in a field

    Week 8

    As part of Keano’s training, he needs to be accustomed to the sounds of city and country life – he could be matched with someone anywhere in the country.

    keano sleeping on the sofa

    Week 7

    Training is tough work as Keano clearly demonstrates here. He hasn’t yet got the grasp of the rule about not jumping (or sleeping!) on sofas.

    Keano lying down on a race track looking at a race car

    Week 6

    Puppy Raiser Clare’s son is a huge racing fan. Here Keano, aged 17 weeks, visits Kirkistown track and is totally chilled out despite the noise of the engines.

    Keano playing in the sand

    Week 5

    Keano experiences new sights and sounds every day which is important to ensure nothing fazes him. Here he experiences digging in sand for the first time, and the noise of the wind!

    March

    Keano sitting in a car looking out of the window

    Week 4

    Keano loves the car. The ability to comfortably travel in a car will help Keano bring more independence to whomever he is matched with.

    Keano looking at a horse through a steel fence

    Week 4

    First time seeing a horse! Clare made sure the introduction was slow so that any signs of stress from Keano could be managed quickly. The experience, due to slow exposure, turned out to be a positive one for Keano.

    Keano sitting down on a path with his collar on, looking at the camera

    Week 3

    A St. Patrick’s Day parade would have been too overstimulating for Keano at his age, so a quieter walk down the canal was the better option for his training.

    Keano walking in the rain with a rain jacket on

    Week 3

    Keano’s first time in rain. As with his Puppy in Training jacket, he has been desensitised to a rain jacket as well. He’s reluctant to get his paws wet! Give it time and he will love his free runs and getting filthy in muddy puddles!

    Keano sitting on some leaves

    Week 3

    Time for Keano to sniff about and enjoy the spring daffodils. Allowing Keano to investigate the world around him is a crucial part of the training process. It gives Clare, his Puppy Raiser, information on what he may or may not be comfortable with.

    Week 3

    Look at those ears! Keano is extremely amused by the traffic below a footbridge. It’s important he gets use to the sound of traffic.

    Keano sitting on a path wearing a bandana

    Week 2

    Keano has received his second vaccination so is now able to take his first trip outdoors, fashionably attired in his Brendan Courtney designed bandana!

    Keano sitting in a kitchen staring into the camera

    Week 1

    Keano was born on 15 December 2022 in a litter of 8.

    Aged 9 weeks, he arrives at Puppy Raiser Clare’s house in Kildare where he immediately establishes himself as THE cutest pup in the county!