Apache here! Did you guys make it to the Guide Dogs of America (GDA) Open House this past weekend? While Linus and Stetson had the house all to themselves (no doubt causing mischief of their own) Dad, Ali, and I went to the GDA Open House and hang out with fellow puppy raisers and hundreds of other guide dog puppies in training.
Dad shot video of Dublin at open house last year and posted the video in this years GDA Open House post.
GDA Open House 2012
The theme at open house was GDA Western Day 2012.
That's Me! Working on down-stay on the stage!
The Guide Dogs of America Open House is one of our favorite events of the year. Dad took me down to the silent auction and they had tons of awesome doggy toys, but that’s not all…there were auction baskets for everyone from to dog stuff to cat stuff to human stuf…they even had LA Kings stuff (GO KING GO!)
Hi Guys! Lots of dog toys at the GDA silent auction
Dad entered me into the Puppy Trials where I got to show everyone how well I could do basic obedience and avoid distractions. Here we are at the sit-stay station. I got that one down no problem, but when we got to the down-stay station the grass smelled so good I decided to take a giant mouthful (hey I gotta get into some kind of mischief over the weekend). Daddy said that was a no-no. Oops! Oh well! Dad told me that we need to work more on obedience in the grass because I was being way too sniffy.
Sit-Stay? No problem!
There were tons of distractions including walking over different surfaces like foam and bubble packing. I even saw a Llama and chickens. My favorite were the pots filled with kibble and hot dogs on a stick. I was a good boy and didn’t try to eat them one bit.
Dad says "leave it"! No hot dogs for me
Here we are walking down the hill towards the bus where we worked on boarding and sitting quietly. Dad said he was really proud of me because overall I did well in the puppy trials.
Dad said I did a really good heel walking down the hill
The GDA Open House was awesome! I had a great time seeing all my friends both human and doggy. I was exhausted at the end of the day and slept the entire car ride home. When we got home I went straight to my doggy bed to take a nap.
Did you go to the Guide Dogs of America Open House this year or in the past? If so, what was your favorite part? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
Linus, Stetson, and Apache write a guest post every Monday called “Monday Mischief“, where they talk about their mischief, antics, and adventures from the past weekend.
I went over to the mail box today and pulled out a little postcard with information on the Guide Dogs of America Open House 2012. I’ve been raising guide dogs for Guide Dogs of America (GDA) since 2006 and every year I do my best to attend the GDA Open House in June as well as bring my puppy in training to compete in the puppy trials.
This year will be no different as I plan to bring Apache, my Golden Retriever puppy in training to this years GDA Open House.
If you haven’t been to the GDA Open House then I highly recommend you go and if you’ve been in the past then I’m sure you’re eager to check out all of those cute guide dog puppies in training and bid on some of the awesome items at the silent auction.
I put together a video of Dublin and I at last years open house. Check it out:
Here’s information on this years GDA Open House.
Guide Dogs of America Open House 2012
This years theme is “Saddle up for a Western Day at GDA”
WHAT: Guide Dogs of America (GDA) Open House 2012 WHEN: Saturday, June 9th, 2012 from 10:45am – 4:00pm WHERE: Guide Dogs of America
13445 Glenoaks Blvd., Sylmar, CA 91342
Here’s a schedule of events at this years open house:
Gates open between 10:45AM and 4:00PM
Main events wind down by 3:00PM
Puppy Trials 11:30AM – 2:00PM
Guide Dog Demonstrations – 1:00PM
Silent Auction Closes at 2:30PM
Tours every 30 minutes
Raffles, Food, Merchandise
All proceeds go to GDA
Sorry, only working service dogs and puppies-in-training may attend. Please leave your career-changed dogs and pets at home.
That pretty much sums up the postcard. Some of my favorite things are:
There are always tons of cool things at the silent auction. Cool stuff for dogs, cats, and pet lovers as well as many different items and baskets for all kinds of people.
The Puppy Kissing Booth. Get your puppy breath fix for a dollar!
The crazy obstacles at the puppy trials. There are usually Llamas and chicken and even hot dogs on sticks to distract your puppy.
The guide dog demonstration. It’s pretty cool to see working dogs in action. You even have a shot at participating in the demo.
The Guide Dogs of America Open House is held every June in Sylmar, California. This year Dublin, my guide dog puppy in training and I attended the event.
There’s a ton of stuff going on at the GDA open house. Puppies in training have the opportunity to participate in the puppy trials (we arrived too late and I didn’t get a chance to take Dublin through the trials this year).
There’s also a silent auction with tons of goodies for dogs, cats, other pets, and tons of cool stuff for us humans as well. There’s several booths with…you guessed it tons of doggy stuff for sale.
Dublin Lovin’ it!
Guide Dogs of America also does a guide dog training demo. There are tours of the campus and also tons of other goodies are given away in the GDA raffle.
I’m sure I’m missing other cool things that happen on this awesome day.
We were able to put together our most recent puppy training video starring Dublin in Episode 15 – Guide Dogs of America Open House. Check it out:
We recently made our way back to Sylmar for the Guide Dogs of America Open House. That’s Dublin standing at the gates of GDA and I’m Colby welcome to episode 15 of Puppy In Training TV
Guide Dog Puppy Training Starring DUBLIN
With Linus Aussie Shepherd Rescue
Also Colby The Human
And Stetson Career Changed Guide Dog
We’re back at GDA campus and that’s Dublin hopping up on stage. We’ll see him there again later. Do you remember the last time Dublin and I posed out in front of the Guide Dogs of America sign? If you guessed back during episode 1 puppy pickup day then you’d be correct.
When we arrived at GDA we walked down that very same hill from episode 1 towards the Silent Auction As we mosied on down we saw this pup working on his “Get Busy” command You might also notice his handler petting him while he potty’s. Puppy raisers pet their pups when they potty. Why you might ask? Because when they become formal guides this helps their vision impaired handler determine if their pup is going #1 or #2.
Ahhh…the GDA Silent Auction. There’s always great stuff here. Tons of stuff for dogs, but that’s not all their are usually gift baskets for just about anybody from Laker fans, to cat lovers, to wine tastings, to restaurant and golf outings, and of course you can find something for your puppy…including a little bit of attention from a fellow puppy raiser
This years theme was june in bloom and some of the pups got quite festive
Open house is a great time to see future guide pups in training!
Every year at open house Guide Dogs of America sets up a beautiful stage to match the years theme…perfect photo op. Here’s a short clip of Dublin posing with his two siblings Daisy and Denali. Can you tell which one is Dublin?
Our puppies are given a chance to show off their obedience skills and tolerance to distractions at the puppy trials. Unfortunately we showed up late and missed the puppy trials, but still got to see that llama dublin was just staring at, a horse. We even got dublin up close and personal with a few chickens.
While we were hanging out by the chickens Dublin was a good boy and remained in a down-stay while he received a few pets
This little guy was all tuckered out after a long day at GDA open house.
As we were walking out Dublin told me he could work as a guide just like the other pups working in the lobby so I told him to show me a sit stay…pretty good Dublin, but I think you have to be a little more still to take one of their jobs.
After a long day at the Guide Dogs of America open house Dublin relaxed for the car ride home. thanks for joining us and we’ll see you next time!
Our Final Thoughts On Guide Dogs of America Open House
We love attending the Guide Dogs of America Open House every year. Although we did not get an opportunity to go through the puppy trials we did see all the items at the silent auction (unfortunately, no bidding for us this year). We also got to work on Dublin’s guide dog puppy training by seeing unusual distractions like the llama’s, horses, and chickens. We also got to work on his meet and greets which in general is an area we need to work on. However, today he was absolutely awesome with his meet and greets. Dublin surprises me again!
Dublin was much improved from his day at the Universal City Walk. I’m hoping his behavior on the train, tram, and bus during our visit to the city walk was an anomaly.
I’m glad you were able to join our puppy in training tv blog post. If you have any questions or suggestions for an episode please leave us a comment in the comment section below. Oh yeah…after you watched the video do you know which puppy was Dublin on the stage?
One of our favorite events of the year is coming up next weekend: the Guide Dogs of America Open House 2009. We’ve attended the last two GDA open houses held in Sylmar, CA. Two years ago Stetson participated, but didn’t place in the puppy trials. Last year Stetson was “in for training” and Derby was only a few weeks old (I didn’t even know that I was going to have Derby at that time). Once again I’m without puppy at this years open house so I’ll be a non-participant at the puppy trials. However, there are many other fun activities going on at the open house.
GDA Open House 2009
What: Guide Dogs of America Open House 2009
Where: GDA Campus, 13445 Glenoaks Boulevard Sylmar, CA 91342
When: Saturday, June 14th, 2008, 10:45am – 4:00pm
For more than 60 years Guide Dogs of America has offered blind and visually impaired people independence, confidence, and companionship in the form of a furry best friend- for free. Once a year, visitors are invited to tour the 7.5 acre GDA facility, see a guide dog demonstration, and observe puppies-in-training as they maneuver through and obstacle course of distractions.
Admission and parking are free! You might want to bring some extra cash just in case you find something you’d like to bid on at the auction.
Try to get there early especially if you’re coming from Orange County like me. Last year we caught a ton of traffic and ended up missing the Guide Dog demonstration and later found out that the Guide Dog used during the demo was our pal Dustin. Also, the main events start to wind down around 2:30pm.
Here’s a schedule of events:
11:30 – 2pm – Puppy Trials
1pm – Guide Dog Demonstration
2:30pm – Silent Auction Closes
Tours (every 30 min), Raffles, Food, Merchandise
All proceeds go to GDA.
Tuesday is our Orange County GDA group meeting and we’ll be practing for this weekend puppy trials. If you’re interested in joining us our meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm at:
Peralta Recreation Building
115 Pinney Dr
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807
We plan on heading up to GDA bright in early and hopefully we win one of the baskets at the auction.
…but I missed the Guide Dog Demonstration We were late for the Guide Dogs of America open house this year and we missed the Guide Dog demonstration. I felt even worse about missing the demo when I heard that our friend Dustin was one of the dogs in the demonstration. Everyone told me he did really well and lucky for me Joanna and Camry took a short video of Dustin and posted it to their blog.
Lucky for me we did get a chance to check out the other activities at the open house.
The Puppy Trials
The puppy trials are my favorite part of the open house and I was hoping to take Stetson through the event. Unfortunately, Stetson was in the kennels and I didn’t even get a chance to see him. I did get a chance to snap a few photos of the contestants and obstacles in the trials.
Puppy trials began at 11:30am. Here’s what you need to do when you arrive (a reference for next year…hopefully I’ll have a puppy I can enter):
Check in at the Entry Table when you arrive.
Listen for your number to be called to start the obstacle course (10 numbers will be called at a time).
Return your number to the Entry Table to receive your participants ribbon.
Announcement of Puppy Trials
First Place winners of each age group will have a permanent place on our Top Dog Plaque, which will be displayed in the kennel building. Stetson’s brother Stuart finished first in our age group last year.
In the picture below do you see the obstacle to the left? Those are hot dogs on a stick and marshmellows. This little yellow lab has his eye on the prize, but he successfully avoided those little wieners.
The first time I introduced Stetson to stairs he was horrible. He liked to pull and run up the stairs even when I told him to heel. However, after a lot of practice Stetson became a master at the stairs. This yellow lab looks as thought he’s mastered the stairs as well.
Last year Stetson successfully ignored the ducks and llamas. The duck is actually on the right side outside of the picture. Sorry for the lousy picture the shadows were not treating me well in this photo.
Some of the other obstacles the puppies have to navigate are basic commands in the grass, walk through a pile of wood chips, simulation of a dining room environment, vet check, and sitting quietly on the bus.
Other Stuff Happening At Open House
For small donations they have food available including a bake sale at the Girl Scouts booth. The regular silent auction has tons of great baskets and last year we bid on several coming home with a basket full of cat products (my mom loves cats). This year nothing caught our fancy and we didn’t bid on any of the baskets. There’s also a children’s auction.
We also went on the GDA campus tour this year (I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Stetson in the kennels). We toured the grounds and the dorms, but didn’t get to go in the kennels
There’s also a raffle that included some great prizes. I think the coolest prize would be to “Spend A Day With A Trainer”. Unfortunately I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t get a chance to buy any raffle tickets.
There’s also a puppy kissing booth and several booths with GDA and other merchandise.
If you missed the Guide Dogs of America Open House then hopefully you’ll visit next year. I plan on going and hopefully I’ll have a new puppy to take through the puppy trials.
A short while ago I wrote an article about the Guide Dogs of America Open House. I just wanted to remind everyone that the GDA Open House will be this Saturday from 10:45pm to 4:00pm. It’s a fun event and there are lots and lots of Puppies In Training walking around. Some of activities I remember from last year were the puppy trials, guide dog demonstration, raffle, auction, and dog/puppy merchandise.
If you have a working Service dog or a puppy in training they are welcome to this event. However, all pets and career change dogs must stay at home.
GDA Open House Schedule
11:30-2pm – Puppy Trials
1:00pm – Guide Dog Demonstration
2:30pm – Silent Auction closes
Tours (every 30 min).
Here are the details for the GDA Open house:
What: Guide Dogs of America 60th Anniversary Open House
Where: GDA Campus, 13445 Glenoaks Boulevard Sylmar, CA 91342
When: Saturday, June 14th, 2008, 10:45am – 4:00pm
In our May meeting we had practice puppy trials during our monthly meeting. Unfortunately, Stetson was already In For Training, but I did get a chance to snap a couple photos.
The first photo is our group going through basic commands. During the puppy trials you have to do most of the basic commands including “Sit”, “Stay”, “Come”, and “Down”.
The second photo is a simulation of the vet check station at the puppy trials. Your puppy has to walk up steps to a table then gets checked out by a vet. In this situation they look at the ears, eyes, mouth, paws, and nails. In general they are making sure your puppy is accepting in being handled by a stranger.
This third and final photo shows Nyah about to walk over an obstacle. Your puppies need to be able to walk over all kinds of surfaces. Last year I remember Stetson had to walk across I believe it was that popcorn they use for packing boxes. In this image Nyah has to walk across dog food. This situation is probably more difficult then the obstacle she’ll come across at the puppy trials.
There are many other obstacles at the trials including a bus, farm animals, and other crazy things (I think there were hot dogs dangling from strings last year). I’ll let you find out the rest of the obstacles by attending the open house.
This is the 21st annual open house and Guide Dogs of America’s 60th Diamond Anniversary. I’ll be there for a good part of the day. I hope to see you there too.
Do you have an adorable puppy who’s driving you nuts? Not long ago we brought home our first guide dog puppy and after the initial excitement wore off we soon realized we were in for an extreme test of our patience.
My name is Colby and I’ve been raising and training guide dog puppies for the past 5 years. Follow me and my pups on our journey from puppy to working guide dog.