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  • roisinmor

An Afternoon of Training at Belfast City Airport

Updated: Jun 18, 2019

The lovely team at George Best Belfast City Airport were kind enough to host two of our dogs and handlers for a training session, allowing us to prepare the dogs for travelling by airplane in the future.

Storm (black Labrador Poodle mix) and Goose (brown Newfoundland) sit alongside a Flybe aircraft

Goose, a Newfoundland who is currently in training to become a Mobility Assistance Dog to support his owner who has Multiple Sclerosis, and Storm, our amazing Diabetic Alert dog, attended with their handlers/trainers.

We began with a short walk around the car park, allowing the dogs to listen to planes flying overhead and positively reinforced the loud noises by providing tasty treats, ensuring the dogs began the training session feeling confident with their surroundings.

After a brief toileting opportunity for the dogs, we entered the terminal building and made our way to the information desk where enthusiastic and helpful staff were waiting to welcome us.

Proceeding through to the security gates, both dogs behaved exceptionally as their vests and harnesses were removed, and they were walked through the body scanners with no issues thanks to the beautiful non-metal airport lead, handcrafted by Hiker Hounds NI.

A walk through the departure lounge and a quick stop in duty free for some attention from the lovely staff offered a great opportunity for the dogs to settle in such an open environment, with so much going on around them.

Then it was time to get on the plane! Storm hopped right on-board, whereas Goose required a little extra encouragement with the help of his favourite treats, and once we had boarded we spent a short time rewarding the dogs for lying quietly at our feet as they will be required to when flying in the future.

Upon departing the plane we returned into the terminal, walked through the baggage collection area so the dogs could see the scary machines (neither dog even flinched) and headed home for a well deserved rest!

Goose & Storm, and their handlers, thoroughly enjoyed the day and it was a fantastic experience for the dogs.

We really appreciate Belfast City Airport's kind hosting of us for this training session.

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