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
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.
If you are training a service animal and live in the southern California area we highly recommend that you try and make it out to the Fullerton Park and Ride this Saturday, October 1st, 2011 from 8am-12pm. OCTA does a great job allowing you and your puppy in training to work on riding the bus and getting on an off using both the steps and the ramp.
Not only does OCTA provide bus training for service dogs in training, but they also give you a courtesy pass into Knott’s Berry Farm where your puppy gets the opportunity to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a major amusement park.
OCTA Bus Training And Knott’s Berry Farm
Some of our favorite parts about OCTA Bus Training are:
You get to experience riding the bus with your puppy in training
You get dropped off right outside Knott’s Berry Farm where there are a ton of live chickens hanging around…another great experience for your pup
You get a courtesy pass into Knott’s Berry Farm
Applications for OCTA Bus Mobility Trainer are available. This No-Fare Identification card allows a Trainer/Handler to ride the OCTA fixed-route system free of charge with a Service Animal
Just in case you missed last years episode of Puppy In Training TV. Here is Dublin’s puppy training video from our OCTA Service Animal Training experience:
OCTA Service Animal Training Details
Here’s the letter received from the Orange County Transportation Authority on this years Service Animal Training. Of course we had to include an image of Dublin at last years training. During training they allow you to walk on and off the bus using the regular stairs and as seen in this picture the bus operator also extended the ramp for us to walk across. Hope to see you all at the Fullerton Park n Ride!
Orange County Transportation Authority
Dublin at OCTA Service Animal Training
Service Animal Training Day
Saturday, Oct. 1st, 2011 8:00am-12:00pm
All Service Animal Trainers/Handlers:
You are cordially invited to OCTA’s annual Service Animal Training day with your Service Animals in training! This is an opportunity to add the experience of riding an OCTA transit bus, including the sights and sounds of beautiful downtown Buena Park and Knott’s Berry Farm into your training program!
Training Day: October 1st, 8:00am to 12:00pm at:
Fullerton Park and Ride (Stalls 1 & 2)
3000 West Orangethorpe
Fullerton, CA 92833
Check-In: Beginning at 7:30am, sign-in and pick-up your Knott’s Berry Farm courtesy entrance bracelet (Good only for AM entry and shopping – No Rides). Then, enjoy unlimited practice boarding, riding, and alighting an OCTA transit bus along a designated training route. Departure shall be every 20-minutes with training stops along the way.
Training Route Schedule
Bus A Departs at: 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am & 12:00pm* Bus B Departs at: 8:20am, 9:20am, 10:20am, 11:20am Bus C Departs at: 8:40am, 9:40am, 10:40am, 11:40am *Note: The last bus at 12:00pm will be “pick-up” only – No Stops!
Training Route via FP&R: (R) Orangethorpe, (R) Magnolia, (R) La Palma,
(L) Dale, (R) Lincoln, (R) Beach, (R) La Palma, (L) Magnolia, (L) Into FP&R.
Check-Out: It is very important that you sign-out, as we account for each rider returning safely!
For agencies within Orange County, applications for OCTA Bus Mobility Trainer will be available. This No-Fare Identification card allows a Trainer/Handler to ride the OCTA fixed-route system free of charge with a Service Animal.
Do you plan on going to OCTA Service Animal Training this year? Have you gone in the past? We’d love to here your experiences. Hopefully we see there this year!
Once a year the Orange County Transit Authority offers public transit orientation training to service animals and their handlers. This is one of my favorite events of the year because it gives me and my guide dog puppy in training a chance to not only ride the bus, but also visit Knott’s Berry Farm at no charge for a couple hours. Both experiences are invaluable as many working Guide Dogs take public transportation on a daily basis and a visit to Knott’s Berry Farm gives our puppies a chance to see and hear different sights and sounds they wouldn’t normally encounter.
One other benefit is the opportunity to apply for a No Fare Identification Card. It only costs 2 dollars, is good for one year, and identifies your Guide Dog Puppy as being in training which precludes the handler from paying a fare when boarding the bus.
We’re going to do our best this year to not only snap a few photos, but also try and get some guide dog puppy training videos on the buses and in Knott’s Berry Farm.
Service Animal Training
Here’s the information I received on this years OCTA Service Animal Training:
Service Animal Trainers/Handlers:
The Orange County Transportation Authority will once again be providing public transit orientation training to service animals and their handlers/trainers on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at the Fullerton Park and Ride, 3000 West Orangethorpe, Fullerton, California.
Buses will be departing (approximately) every thirty minutes on the hour and half hour beginning at 8:00 am, with the last bus leaving at 12:00 pm.
All service animals and handlers/trainers are encouraged to attend.
In addition, Knott’s Berry Farm will be allowing the service animals, handlers/trainers inside the park between 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, to experience the sights and sounds of a theme park.
During this event, you will have the opportunity to apply for a No Fare Identification Card (this is not a requirement). The No Fare Identification Card is good for one year and identifies the animal as being in training, which precludes the handler/trainer paying a fare when boarding the bus. The fee for this identification is $2.00.
Please contact event coordinator, Pam Peters at 714-265-4387 or email@example.com with any questions.
I look forward to seeing everyone at this event.
Will Guide Dog Puppy – Dublin Be In Attendance?
One thing we talk about when raising our puppies is whether or not an event is age appropriate. Riding on a bus and visiting Knott’s Berry Farm can be overwhelming for a young puppy and at the time of this event Dublin will only be 5 months old. We don’t want to overwhelm Dublin with too much too soon so he will most likely sit this one out (I’ll check with our trainers). However, I do plan on going to the event and if Dublin can’t go then I’ll do my best to bring another Guide Dog Puppy In Training to enjoy this experience. Last year we borrowed Sydney, brought him on the bus, and walked him around Knott’s Berry Farm.
Another fun thing about this event is we get the chance to meet many different service animals from different groups. Over the past few years we’ve met therapy dogs from Therapy Dogs International and Delta Society, Guide Dogs from Guide Dogs of the Desert and Guide Dogs for the Blind, Service Dogs from Canine Companions for Independence and Canine Support Teams, and a couple years ago we met a Vizsla who was a Cadaver Dog in training.
Once again we were lucky enough to bring a Guide Dog puppy in training on the OCTA bus service animal training. Last year I took Derby on the OCTA buses, walked outside of Knott’s Berry Farm and even grabbed some lunch with Derby’s brother Dutch. Unfortunately this year I didn’t have a puppy in training and at the last minute I was lucky enough to take Sidney on the buses.
OCTA Bus Service Dog Training
Every year the Orange County Transportation Authority offers bus training to service animals. We’ve been lucky enough to participate in the bus training the past two years and we’ve seen dogs from various service, assistance, therapy and guide dog groups including Canine Companions for Independence, Canine Support Teams, Guide Dogs of the Desert, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Therapy Dogs International, Delta Society, OCSPCA, Guide Dogs of America (of course), and we’ve even seen a cadaver dog puppy in training.
This year OCTA also set us up with passes into Knott’s Berry Farm! Sidney and I had a great experience walking by all the different sights and sounds of an amusement park. We didn’t go on any rides, but we did see several dogs boarding the train ride. Here’s a slide show of pictures from our experience on the OCTA buses and at Knott’s Berry Farm:
Sidney – A Puppy In Training
As you can see we had a great time. Sidney was great and did really well with all the funny sights, sounds, and smells. He didn’t chase the chickens when we exited the bus. He did very well walking up and down the ramp when exiting the bus. He slept comfortably underneath the seat while riding on the bus (although he did pop his head out into the aisle a couple times). He was very aware of the roller coaster and screaming kids and didn’t seem scared, but very alert to his surroundings. The one area where he did get a bit frightened was when he saw the lady in costume with a big hat on. I’m not sure if he started barking because Kelly started barking or if it was his natural reaction, but until the girl took her hat off Sidney was not too pleased with her appearance. However, as soon as she took her hat off she and Sidney were best friends. If you watch the slide show the girl I’m talking about is the one with the scary pumpking (jack-o-lantern) behind her.
Last year the Orange County Transportation Authority provided public transit orientation training to service animals and their handlers / trainers. Myself and Derby were lucky enough to take part in this free program. We shuttled around in the bus starting at the Fullerton Park and Ride and ended at Knott’s Berry Farm for lunch with several of our friends from Guide Dogs of America and Guide Dogs of the Desert. If you haven’t seen the pictures from last year take a look at this post: Puppies on Buses. We’re in luck because once again this October OCTA is offering service animal training on their buses.
Service Animal Training With OCTA
Here are the details on this event:
What: OCTA Public Transit Orientation for service animals and their trainers / handlers When: Saturday, October 3rd, 2009, 8am – 12pm Where: Fullerton Park and Ride, 3000 West Orangethorpe, Fullerton, California
Here’s the information I received from the Orange County Transportation Authority:
Service Animal Trainers / Handlers of Orange County
The Orange County Transportation Authority will once again be providing public transit orientation training to service animals and their handlers / trainers on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at the Fullerton Park and Ride, 3000 West Orangethorpe, Fullerton, California.
Buses will be departing every thirty minutes on the hour and half hour beginning at 8:00 am, with the last bus leaving at 1200 noon.
All service animals and handlers/trainers are encouraged to attend.
During this event, you will have the opportunity to apply for a No Fare Identification Card (this is not a requirement). The No Fare Identification Card identifies the animal as being in training and the handler/trainer is not required to pay a fare when boarding the bus. The fee for this identification is $2.00.
Please contact event coordinator, Pam Peters at 714-265-4387 or ppeters [at] octa [dot] net with any questions.
I look forward to seeing everyone at this event.
ppeters [at] octa [dot] net
Instructor, Operations Training
Orange County Transportation Authority
So not only is OCTA offering this great service to allow us to ride their buses with our animals for the day, but they are also giving us the opportunity to apply for a No Fare Identification Card. That’s awesome! I can’t wait for this years event.
Service Animal Training – Puppies On Buses
I rarely ride the bus or any form of public transportation. The OCTA’s Service Animal Training program is a great opportunity for Guide Dog puppy raisers to introduce their puppies to the bus. Last year was a lot of fun. We got to experience the bus ride, walking around with other people training guide dogs, and walking around the outside of Knott’s Berry Farm. Not only that, but we also got to meet many different people and dogs. We saw dogs from several other groups including Guide Dogs of America, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Canine Companions for Independence, Guide Dogs of the Desert, Therapy Dogs International, and many other groups. We even came across a man who was training his Vizsla to be a Cadaver Dog. The OCTA training was a great experience for both me and my puppy Derby.
Unfortunately this years Service Animal Training coincides with the GDA Partners Awards Dinner. Hopefully our friends at Guide Dogs of America will have time to attend both events this year.
If you have a service animal we’d love to see you at this years OCTA Service Animal Training.
Have you attended this event in the past? How was your experience?
A final note, this event takes place the first Saturday in October in case you want to put it on the calendar for next year.
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.