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It wasn’t that long ago that I was asked the question in today’s blog post title when I walked up to the Guide Dogs of America (GDA) booth at the America’s Family Pet Expo. This past weekend I was asking pet lovers at the Pet Expo the very same question while working with Tasha (a guide dog puppy in training) at the GDA booth: “Are you interested in raising a puppy for Guide Dogs of America?”
By the way, the Pet Expo was packed this past weekend with thousands of people and we came away with possibly a few new puppy raisers
Bro and Sis? BFF’s? Guide Pups?
Who are those pups pictured above? That’s Tucker and Treacle! Brother and sister from the “T” litter (read more about the GDA rules for naming a puppy). Guide Dog Puppies In Training! These two are currently in formal guide dog training and hopefully will be graduating soon from Guide Dog College. This picture is from our outing to the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach, CA.
What Does A Puppy Raiser Do?
So what happens at the Guide Dogs of America booth? We try to recruit new puppy raisers and the Pet Expo filled with thousands of Pet Lovers is the perfect venue. While our time is sometimes short with each prospective puppy raiser here are a few things I like to say and do when working the booth:
- First, bring an adorable Puppy In Training to draw in the crowd. I had Tasha an 11 month old gorgeous female Labrador Retriever working by my side. the Pet Expo is full of excitement and distractions so we only bring the older puppies as they can handle the stress better than the little ones.
- After you draw in the prospective puppy raisers lead with the question “Are you interested in raising a puppy?“
- Then I usually give them the basic run down of what puppy raising entails…
- GDA provides you with an approximately 7 week old puppy.
- You keep the puppy with you from 7 weeks until about 18 months of age.
- During that time you work with them on basic obedience, good house manners, and socialization.
- Most pet lovers are intrigued by puppy socialization aspect of puppy raising and love to hear how puppy raisers take their pups to shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and most places many pet dogs can not attend.
- At 18 months you return the puppy to the school where they begin their formal guide dog training.
- After about 6 months of formal training your puppy gets matched with a visually impaired or blind partner.
- After approximately 1 more month of training with their new partner you puppy graduates and begins his life as a guide dog team.
- The most common response: “I could never give up my puppy after 18 months…“
- My answer: “I understand, but once you see your puppy graduate and give his partner a new life of independence it’s all worth it.” –Cue tears from my eyes…
That’s a very brief summary, but in reality there are so many more benefits to being a puppy raiser. It is a large commitment, but you will receive so much more in return. That is why I’ve raised 4 puppies and plan on raising more. That’s why when you talk to many other puppy raisers they’ve raised 5, 10, 20 puppies over the past few decades.
If you’re interested in puppy raising leave me a comment or shoot me an email though our contact form.
How about you guys? Are you already raising a puppy? If so tell us a little bit about some of your experiences and the benefits you find raising a puppy. If not, what’s holding you back from starting your journey as a puppy raiser.
Are you looking to adopt a puppy? If so, you’re in luck because the Super Pet Adoption at the Irvine Animal Care Center is right around the corner. Can you believe this year is the 6th annual Super Pet Adoption? We attended the inaugural event way back in 2007. Stetson was a guide dog puppy in training back then probably only about 6 months old. I think we even helped out for a little bit at the Guide Dogs of America (GDA) booth.
As far as I know GDA does not have a booth at this years Super Pet Adoption, but there are still tons of other fun things to do. Here’s a look at some of the details for this years Irvine Super Pet Adoption:
6th Irvine Annual Super Pet Adoption
Super Pet Adoption Logo
WHAT: 6th Annual Super Pet Adoption
WHEN: June 3rd, 2012 – 10am – 4pm
WHERE: Irvine Animal Care Center
6443 Oak Canyon Road
ADMISSION: $1 per person
From the Irvine Animal Care Center Website:
Join the Irvine Animal Care Center for the largest one day pet adoption event in Orange County – the 6th annual Super Pet Adoption!
The event features more than 800 dogs, cats, rabbits, and small animals for adoption; plus dozens of pet-friendly vendors and services.
Additional event highlights include:
- Free gifts for the first 100 adopters
- Low-cost rabies vaccines and microchips
- Free vet and trainer advice
- Gourmet food trucks and bake sale
- Silent auction with 50+ great items
Paul Mitchell students will also be on hand offering hair cutting and styling services with all proceeds benefiting Irvine’s homeless pets (services for humans only).
Plus, enter for your chance to win an iPad!!!
Leashing dogs are welcome (Maximum leash length of six feet. No flex leashes.)
Here’s the official flyer:
Irvine Super Pet Adoption Flyer
Are We Going To The Super Pet Adoption?
Wow! I can’t believe that this is the largest one day pet adoption event in orange county considering the OC Pet Expo is also located in Orange County!
We haven’t adopted a dog from an animal rescue or shelter since Linus way back in 2005. However, we have helped out some of the rescues with donations as well as volunteering as foster parents for dogs and puppies. We love supporting all the hard work these rescues do to help adoptable animals find new forever homes. We plan on going to this years Super Pet Adoption, but Apache, our guide dog puppy in training will most likely stay home for this event.
If you’re looking to adopt a new pet (remember they have dogs, cats, rabbits, small animals, and I’ve even seen chickens and pigs!) then you should attend this years Irvine Pet Adoption. Even if you’re not looking for a new pet, but love animals then it’s a wonderful chance to visit the wonderful rescues, vendors, adoptable animals, check out the volunteer opportunities, or make a donation.
So what do you guys think? Are you going to this years Super Pet Adoption? Have you gone in the past? If so, what did you think about it? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.
Dublin and A Donkey At Last Years OC Pet Expo
Many of you already know that I love talking about the OC Pet Expo every year. In fact I usually start writing articles about the Expo starting at the beginning of the new year and usually put together 1 or 2 updates as reminders (we don’t want you to miss out).
We’re now in the final stretch with opening day beginning in less than 1 week!
We found out that Apache and I will be working as volunteers at the Guide Dogs of America booth. We’re currently scheduled to work from 3-6pm on Friday, April 20th, 2012, but we’ll most likely come earlier in the day so we can help out the other puppy raisers.
If you’re planning on attending this years Orange County Pet Expo please stop by the Guide Dogs of America booth and say hello to Apache and I. Our booth is located in Building 10, Booth 1079. Here’s a map of where we’re located:
OC Pet Expo Map
The OC Pet Expo 2012 is held at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California.
We’ve been attending the pet expo for over 5 years now and we’ve volunteered at the GDA booth for the past 5 years as well. During that time we’ve learned a few things that help make the pet expo a more enjoyable event.
Tips For This Years OC Pet Expo
Dublin and A Donkey At Last Years OC Pet Expo
Here are a few tips we’ve learned:
- Order your tickets online and you’ll save $2 per ticket. Here’s a link to order your tickets.
- Fridays especially Friday mornings is the least busiest time. It’s nice to beat the crowds. ***however, this may change this year since “Fido Friday” is the first and only day this year the OC Pet Expo is allowing pet dogs at this event.
- Grab a program as soon as you enter so you can see what demonstrations you’d like to attend. Make sure you look at all the events and plan your day accordingly. Some of our favorites are Splash Dogs, Police and Search Dog Demonstration, K9 Nosework Demo. There’s a ton of stuff going on every 15 minutes and as you can see I’m a bit biased towards the dogs, but there’s demonstrations and exhibits for all kinds of pets. A few examples of other pet demos: The Birdman, Hamster Judging, The mystery of cat shows, etc.
- Bring along cash. There are tons of great opportunities to buy products or give donations, but not all groups may accept credit cards.
- Visit the Guide Dogs of America Booth and say hi to Apache and I!
Tips For People Bringing Their Dogs For “Fido Friday”
If you plan on bringing your own pet dog here are a few extra tips for the OC Pet Expo:
- Make sure you read the policy and sign the waiver for Fido Friday.
- Make sure your dog can handle a high stress environment. There’s a lot of noises, animals, children running, people in wheelchairs, loud noises, people on microphones, clapping, etc. There’s a lot going on at the pet expo and you want it to be a fun day for your dog not a miserable, stressful day.
- Your dog may be a good dog, but you have to consider the 100′s of other dogs at the pet expo. Always keep a close eye not only on what your dog is doing, but what the other dogs and animals might be doing.
- I always bring water for my dog, but I don’t usually bring food. If you plan on staying all day you may want to bring some food for your dog as well.
- It could be a long hot day. We’ve attended some years when it was very hot. Make sure you give your dog a chance to take breaks throughout the day.
- The black top (asphalt) at the pet expo can get very hot and can easily burn your dogs paws. Be careful and plan accordingly.
This is the first Fido Friday at the OC Pet Expo so I’m not too sure what to expect. However, I do know that it can be a very stressful day for our guide dog puppies and I always make sure to keep an eye on not only my dog, but everything that is going on around us especially the other dogs.
I hope these few tips help if you’re planning to attend this years pet expo. Of course if you are coming to the OC Pet Expo 2012 please make sure you stop by the Guide Dogs of America booth (Building 10, Booth 1079) and say hello!
If you haven’t already heard the South Florida Pet Expo 2012 is right around the corner and if you’re a pet lover than this is an event you should not miss. That’s right this year’s South Florida Pet Expo is happening this Saturday, March 24th from 10am to 6pm at the South Florida Expo Center with free admission and free parking.
I love the pet expo and attend our own OC Pet Expo every year to work at the Guide Dogs of America booth and also to check out all of the wonderful rescue groups, pet products, demonstrations, and many other activities.
However, I also know that there are other Pet Expos happening all the time across the country and here at PuppyInTraining.com I like to report about the expos and also hear what other people have to say about their local pet expo.
So without further adieu here’s the South Florida Pet Expo:
South Florida Pet Expo 2012
WHAT: 2012 South Florida Pet Expo
WHEN: Saturday March 24th from 10am – 6pm
WHERE: South Florida Expo Center
9067 Southern Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL
What’s Going On At This Year’s Pet Expo?
Here are some of the things you’ll see at this year’s South Florida Pet Expo:
- Prizes, Giveaways and fun for the people and their pets
- Pet Adoption! This is a mega-adoption event with tons of participating rescue groups. Adopt a puppy at this years pet expo!
- Does your dog need vaccinations? Get discounted vaccinations, microchipping, heartworm, and flea preventatives
- Check out the agility demonstrations
- One of my favorites is always to check out the latest and greatest pet products
- Check out the different pet breeds
- Shorti Rossi from Animal Planets “Pit Boss” with Hercules and Juan will be there as well
- Pets always welcome!
- And much more!
Now you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about a pet expo in South Florida when I’m all the way on the other side of the country in Southern California. Last year I realized that I receive thousands of readers each month from almost every state in the U.S. and Florida is not different. In fact, in 2011 I had over 25,000 readers visit the website.
So now I’m doing my best to report the many pet expo’s that happen across the country on nearly a weekly basis. I’m trying to find a better way to organize events on my blog, but for now I plan on listing them individually in blog posts.
If you plan on going to the South Florida Pet Expo 2012 or if you’ve gone in the past then please tell me what you thought of the event in the comment section below.
Today is Saturday and I was just looking at my schedule of upcoming Pet Expo’s and noticed the Green Bay Pet Expo 2012 is on the horizon. That’s right! The 7th annual WBAY Pet Expo is coming to Green Bay, Wisconsin from March 23rd to 25th.
So what can we expect from this years pet expo? Well as their site says from horses to hamsters there’s something for everyone at the WBAY Pet Expo.
Here are some of the details on this years expo:
Green Bay Pet Expo 2012
WHAT: 7th Annual WBAY Pet Expo
WHEN: March 23rd – 25th, 2012
Friday: 3pm – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Sunday: 10am – 4pm
WHERE: Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena
1901 South Oneida Street
Green Bay, WI
Adults – $7.00
Senior Adults (62 & up) – $6.00
Children 6-12 – $2.00
Children 5 & under – FREE
Weekend Pass – $13.00
So what else can we expect from this years WBAY Pet Expo in Green Bay, WI?
- See Extreme Canines Stunt Dog Shows
- Police K9 Unit Demonstrations – If you have seen these demos then you must check out these amazing German Shepherds
- Rhia the talented horse
- Petco Family Fun Zone
- Creature Teachers Reptile Exhibit featuring Dennis and Julie Tlacha: Education on exotic birds and reptiles
- See the largest critter trail set-up ever! Win a critter trail from Petco!
- Great exhibits and much more…check out this page.
And why is PuppyInTraining.com writing about the WBAY Pet Expo all the way in Green Bay Wisconsin if we’re headquartered in southern California? Well, according to my analytics data we had over 8,000 visitors from the great state of Wisconsin. I therefore thought it prudent to highlight an awesome event like the pet expo for the people in Wisconsin. Ever since going to the OC Pet Expo several years ago I’ve wanted to visit pet expo’s across the country. Because I don’t have the time or money to accomplish this feat I’m resorting to reporting about these excellent events and hoping to live vicariously through our readers and their comments in the comment sections of our blog posts.
So what about it Wisconsin? If you’ve gone to the WBAY/Green Bay Pet Expo in the past or plan on going to the upcoming event on March 23rd please tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.
Every year I write about the Orange County Pet Expo and this year has been no different. However, there is something different about this years OC Pet Expo.
As long as I’ve been writing to this blog I’ve received many questions about the Pet Expo: Will splash dogs be at the pet expo? What kind of demonstrations do they have at the OC Pet Expo? What kind of animals are at the expo? Do they sell pet products? Are there puppies for adoption?
However, the most common question I get about the Orange County Pet Expo…Can I bring my dog to the OC Pet Expo? I inevitably hear that comment every year. In fact, I just got this comment from one of our readers today:
ARE you allowed to bring dogs if your not working at a booth. I have been once a few years ago with my parents just before we got our 2nd to last family pet. I was in 4th grade. But now im married and I have two dogs a havanese puppy he is 7 months and yesterday we got a siberian husky from the pound she is 1 year and two monts. Are dogs allowed there?
I’m glad she asked…thanks Nikki! Because just like I do every year I went back to the official website and checked the admissions section for the usual NO DOGS ALLOWED! (reminds me of Snoopy) This year I came to the OC Pet Expo events info and to my surprise it read:
NO PETS ALLOWED*
*EXCEPT FOR FIDO FRIDAY
Keep Off The Grass No Dogs Allowed!
Image By olaszmelo
So now I had to find out about Fido Fridays…what was it? It was a little difficult to navigate their website, but I came across a press release about Fido Fridays.
OC Pet Expo – Fido Fridays
So what is Fido Friday at the America’s Family Pet Expo? You guessed it…on Friday, April 20th, 2012 from 10am to 6pm pet dogs can join the fun at the Pet Expo. Here’s the information straight from the official pet expo website:
America’s Family Pet Expo is happy to welcome your well behaved pooch to enjoy the day out with you at our show on FRIDAY! But before you do, please be sure to read the Fido Friday Policy by clicking here.
All pet owners must sign a Liability Waiver upon entrance to the America’s Family Pet Expo. This opportunity to bring your dog is ONLY AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY.
A Few Tips for Attendees and Dogs:
- Dogs will be allowed on Friday only.
- There will be crowds, loud stimulating noises and many other animals on display as part of our show.
- Only one dog allowed per adult.
- Public dogs will not be allowed to enter Building 12 due to the other animals in this building.
- Dogs MUST be kept on non-retractable leashes.
- Bring water and snacks for your pet.
- Take note of designated Potty Areas listed on Show Program.
- Bring poop bags.
- Read the Fido Friday Policy for rules and information.
- Dogs will not be allowed without a signed Waiver.
- Enjoy the Show!
If you decide to bring your dog to the OC Pet Expo make sure you keep a close eye on your dog and other dogs and animals. Your dog may be well-behaved, but you never really know about the other dogs/animals. Make sure you bring water and a bowl for your dog. Some years it’s been very hot at the Pet Expo and you don’t want your dog to get dehydrated. I bring a backpack with water bottle/bowl, towels/paper towels (in case my pup has an accident somewhere indoors), dog poop bags, sterile bone (we work the booths so I sometimes give my pup a sterile bone to chew on), and of course I always have my puppy on a short leash.
Yep! It’s a first for the Orange County Pet Expo! It’s the first time you can bring your four-legged family member to this event. So now the question is will you bring your dog to the OC Pet Expo?
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