Guide dogs in training boarding the bus
We’ve been organizing our Orange County Guide Dogs of America group outings for the past two years and one of our favorites is organized by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).
The OCTA Service Animal Training is held once a year on the first Saturday of October and offers service animals the opportunity to ride the OCTA bus and enter the Knott’s Berry Farm theme park for free! Training is held from 8am to noon at the Fullerton Park and Ride.
OCTA Service Animal Training
Hina riding the OCTA bus at service animal training day.
We’ve been raising and training guide dog puppies for over 6 years now. Part of our job as guide dog puppy raisers is to make sure our puppies are well socialized with all different kinds of people, places, and things. When our dogs graduate guide dog college many will start using public transportation on a regular basis.
A lot of us don’t think to much about public transportation especially people like myself living in Southern California and driving a car from place to place. Many people with disabilities don’t have the luxury of driving their own cars and must use buses, trains, and trams to get around.
Guide dogs in training boarding the bus
OCTA bus training is a great chance for our dogs to gain experience boarding, exiting, and riding on a bus. Not only that, but OCTA and Knott’s Berry Farm team up every year to also give us free passes into Knott’s Berry Farm to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a theme park.
It’s an awesome experience for both puppy raisers and puppies in training and if you’re a puppy raiser and live in the Southern California area I highly recommend you look into attending OCTA service animal training next year.
Pups at Knott’s Berry Farm in front of the train
Some Tips When Working With Your Puppy On The Bus
We got a few last minute tips from our puppy department before our training day and we just wanted to share with you in case you ever have to take your dog on the bus.
- When riding the bus, puppies need to be sitting in front of you facing out, and your toes should be tucked around your puppy’s toes to protect them from being stepped on. This will be the most common position for them in formal training and when riding with their blind person.
- For longer rides, puppies can be laying down as long as no part of them is sticking out from under the seat.
Basically you want to make sure and protect your puppy from getting stepped on. Be very aware of your puppies feet and tail as they tend to sometimes hang out and can possibly get run over by an unsuspecting person.
Great job puppy raisers! Pups are kept under seats with a clear path for people to walk down.
Many Different Service Animal Groups Gather At OCTA Bus Training
One of my favorite parts about the OCTA training day is seeing all of the different service animal groups gathering to work on training their puppies. Some of the groups we remember seeing were Guide Dogs of America, Canine Companions for Independence, Guide Dogs of the Desert, Canine Support Teams, Guide Dog for the Blind, Delta Society, and a few others we can’t remember off the tops of our head.
Of course the weekend was not without a little bit of mischief. we saw this pup hop up on the passenger seat. A definite no-no when riding the bus. I guess he wanted to check out the college football scores.
Getting into a bit of puppy mischief. Our pups aren’t perfect that’s why jackets say puppy “in training”
Thank you to Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Knott’s Berry Farm for providing us with this wonderful training day. It’s an invaluable experience for all of us puppy raisers.
We’ll see you next year!
Did you participate in this years OCTA Service Animal Training? Have you taken you dog on public transportation? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.
This is a Puppy Training blog about our journey as guide dog puppy raisers. Most of the time we like to keep you posted about the latest puppy training tips, dog events, animal shelter and rescue information, puppy videos and pictures, dog toys and product reviews, and many other goings on in the wonderful world of puppies and dogs. However, from time to time we may get a little personal…sorry for that. Here’s a bit of information that’s going on in our life right now.
You may be wondering…”where have you been?” I haven’t written a post on this blog for over two months. I apologize. I ‘ll try to be more diligent with my posts to this site. Lets start off with Halloween which is right around the corner. Our last Guide Dogs of America (GDA) meeting was our annual Halloween meeting. Most of our dogs were dressed in costumes. It’s a good idea to dress your dog up for several reasons…first, your dog will be more tolerant to wearing different kinds of outfits on their head, feet, bodies (good for guide dogs because they will be wearing a jacket or harness for a good part of their lives)…and second, your dogs gets used to being handled by you.
Great Halloween Dog Costumes
Anyways, here is a picture of Stetson in his bumble bee outfit. The other guide dogs in training should have their pictures posted on our local Orange County GDA website at http://www.ocgda.com. Our group did just recently purchase the domain name ocgda.com, so feel free to check out all of the latest Orange County Guide Dog information at our new ocgda website.
By the way, if you want to see some great dog halloween costumes check out The 6 Best Dog Costumes On The Internet.
Puppy Training Jobs
Who is Canine Companions for Independence. Taken straight from their website: “Canine Companions for Independence is a national non-profit organization that enhances the lives of children and adults with disabilities by providing highly-trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure a quality partnership.” I heard about CCI about 6 months ago and read through most of the pages on their website and browsed several of their monthly newsletters. About two months ago I noticed the job description for Puppy Program Manager listed on their website. They actually had two Puppy Program Manager positions open up one in the Southwest (Oceanside, CA) and one in the Northeast (Farmingdale, NY).
I thought what a great position…managing volunteers who do the same thing I’m currently doing with Stetson. I live about 45 minutes from Oceanside and emailed my resume for that position. I do have management and volunteer experience, however I was not hopeful because I do not have volunteer management experience. Anyways, several weeks passed and I received a call from CCI requesting an interview.
Needless to say I was very excited. I prepped for my interview by reading through the entire CCI website and also going over my interview preparation books. I put on my suit and headed out to Oceanside. I was excited just to see the CCI facility let alone interview for a job. When I arrived they had me fill out an application and I interviewed with two of the program managers. They were very pleasant and easy to talk to. I would say I did okay in my interview, but nothing fantastic. There were several dogs walking around the office. I assume they were Puppies in Training like Stetson. After the interview I got home wrote a couple of Thank you notes and sent them back to CCI.
It’s been about 2 1/2 weeks since my interview and just yesterday I received a letter from CCI (a bad sign). It was a standard rejection letter thanking me for interviewing and giving me the good news (you have some great skills) bad news (however we are looking for someone who better fits the position). Unfortunately, not a happy ending for me this time…oh well, I was just thrilled to have the opportunity to interview for the position. I’m not sure if they are still accepting resumes, but if you are interested you can go straight to their jobs link on the CCI website at http://www.cci.org/national/jobads/jobs_at_cci.html.
Good luck to anyone who applies for a job and good luck to whoever the next Puppy Program Manager is for CCI’s Southwest office.
So that’s what’s going on in the life of a Guide Dog Puppy Raiser. What about you? How’s your life going? Are you raising a puppy or working for one of the wonderful service or guide dog organizations across the country? We’d love to hear what people are up to in the comment section below.