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.
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.
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!
A pup's curiosity knows no bounds! Keano takes control of Puppy Raiser Clare's mobile!
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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 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.
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 checks out the accommodation as he gets set for his first trip in a camper van.
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 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.
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.
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’s first visit to the hairdressers. Once again experiencing normal every day life.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
Keano loves the car. The ability to comfortably travel in a car will help Keano bring more independence to whomever he is matched with.
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.
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’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!
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.
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 has received his second vaccination so is now able to take his first trip outdoors, fashionably attired in his Brendan Courtney designed bandana!
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!