As guide dog puppy raisers we teach our puppies 9 basic obedience commands before turn in. Adelle’s service dog training manual lists 30 commands we are to teach our pups! That’s right 30!!!
We’ve been raising and training guide dog puppies since 2006! We get the privilege of working with these puppies from the time they are 8 weeks old until they are 18 months. During this time we do our best to make sure they are rock solid with a handful of commands. Just in case you do not remember take a peek back at our blog post: What Commands Do You Teach A Guide Dog?
There were only 9 commands on that list, but of course these are not the only commands our guide dog puppies will learn. When our pups move on to guide dog college they will learn many more commands as well as advanced skills.
What Do We Teach Our Service Dog Puppies In Training?
As a puppy raiser we do not teach our puppies everything. We have 3 main goals as puppy raisers:
Teach our pup’s good house manners.
Socialize our puppies.
Teach them basic commands.
It is the same whether you are a guide dog puppy raiser or a service dog puppy raiser. However, there are a few small differences. One of them are the commands we teach our puppies. As I mentioned before there are 9 basic obedience commands we teach our guide dog puppies.
As a Service Dog puppy raiser it is my responsibility to teach Adelle 30 commands! That’s right! Canine Support Teams has a list of 30 commands we are tasked to teach our service dog puppies in training. In fact, learning how to teach these different commands is one of the main reasons why I was interested in raising a service dog puppy vs. a guide dog puppy this time around.
As A Service Dog Puppy Raiser What Commands Do I Teach My Pup?
Lucky for us we are given a list of commands that we are to teach our puppies including what our pup’s physical response should be, application, and notes. So, now you’re wondering what exactly are these 30 commands Adelle is required to learn? Take a gander at this list:
GET A DRINK
BETTER GO NOW
That’s it! Not too bad eh? Adelle is 5 months old and we’ve touched on many of these commands already. We are very good at some, okay at others, and some we’re not too sure how to teach. The good news is we will be attending special classes with Canine Support Team trainers where we’ll learn exactly the things we need to work on.
Of course that’s not all the commands we will teach our puppies. When Adelle leaves my home she will move forward to the Prison Pup Program where she’ll learn advanced skills and commands.
I’m super excited to move forward with Adelle’s training! And as you can see so is Adelle
Adelle taking a nap during training?!?
I’ll talk to you more about the different commands we are working on in the coming weeks.
How about you guys? Are you teaching your puppies anything interesting or fun? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
We recently got an email and to quote a part of it: “…I would say he is going to be a Great Service Dog…” We certainly hope this will be true.
In case you don’t remember Apache was my last guide dog puppy in training. After spending a month at guide dog college he was career changed due to a medical condition. However, the good news is he was career changed to a service dog organization called Canine Support Teams (CST).
Today Apache is in the Prison Pup Program with CST working on his service dog training with an inmate trainer at Chino Institute for Women.
Apache, A Great Service Dog…We Certainly Hope So!
Sorry, they don’t allow picture of Apache while he’s in the Prison Pup Program I would have loved to have seen him in his dog Halloween Costume. Since no updated picture here’s one of him as a puppy:
So without further adieu here’s the latest update we received about our buddy, Apache:
I got to spend time with Apache last night. I have to tell you he won first place in the Halloween Costume contest he was dressed like an Indian featuring a feathered headress and a loin cloth, he enjoyed every minute of the attention. His sister Asha was Pocahontas..very cute together.
Apache is doing very well, in last nights class we had a 2 part class the first part was the Primary Trainers taking the dogs through obedience commands with their hands behind their backs using no treats or hand gestures. I can tell you Apache did very well. He kept his eyes on his Trainer and stayed right by her side, even with the distraction of other dogs. The reason this is important and is practiced is not every client will have the ability to hold a leash and give gestures. We want the dogs to maintain eye contact and do what ever they are asked to do. He did a great job…
The second part of the class was a babysitter or secondary trainer who has never worked with the dog to do the same thing. Apache still did well with this but like all the other dogs was not totally focused on the new person. So it was good for the entire class to see that all dogs need to work for whoever asks them to do the command. We did let them bring out treats and all the dogs responded better to the new people and we had lots of wagging tails. Overall it was a Great class.
I spent some time talking with his trainer and asking about progress, any issues etc. She said he is doing well at all his obedience, directional, and working on task. He loves, loves, loves to retrieve. He started with the basic dropped items off the floor, keys, pens, glasses. He has progressed to retrieving items off counters, he is tall enough to retrieve out of the sink. He has such a gentle mouth he has moved on to mail and single sheets of paper. He can also now turn lights on and off with the commands Light & Switch.
I would say he is going to be a Great Service Dog. The next Team Training is in March…client files are being reviewed and if there is a good match for him he may be in that Team Training.
I’m happy to hear that Apache did so well with his secondary trainer. He must be maturing! Maybe it’s because his second birthday is right around the corner. Does that mean he’s almost an adult!? Probably not till he’s closer to three years old.
I’m so proud of Apache. I hope he truly does become a great service dog for someone. My fingers are crossed that he makes the next team training this March. GO APACHE!!!
Do you have a dog in formal guide or service dog training? How’s your puppy doing? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.
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.
Apache started his journey as a guide dog puppy in training, but now he’s in a service dog training program. It’s tough choosing a career just ask all of those kids currently attending college. Heck I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up!
Anyways, Apache has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride, but it sounds like he’s doing great in his service dog training with Canine Support Teams. Every time I get an email about Apache I’m excited to hear about all of his new accomplishments and adventures.
Just in case you missed out on the adventures of Apache here’s a short timeline:
Dec. 22nd, 2010 – a little fuzzy Golden Retriever named Apache is born
Feb. 2011 - Apache goes home with his puppy raiser, Mary
Dec. 5th, 2011 – Apache is re-homed with me after getting too big for Mary to handle
A few days ago we got our second email update on Apache’s progress! It’s so exciting! No more chatter check it out…
FIRST PART OF THE LETTER
I saw Apache on Tuesday evening. He is doing very well. He is working on Directional which means placement. GDA dogs only learn heal in Canine Support Teams he will learn several commands here are a few of them: side, go around, go through, behind, go in, my lap, jump on, up, etc. When he first started his training it was very apparent how conditioned he was by his Guide dog training. He would not take a treat with someone saying “okay” nor would he jump up on anything.
He is now learning that the sound of the clicker means he did something to be rewarded for. He will do most things for just a lot of praise, some of the things that have been harder for him to learn he gets a reward for doing.
He goes to work everyday with his trainer and is exposed to lots of different situations and sounds. He is doing very well and looks great. He has only tried to jump on his trainer a few times. They anticipate that are able to stop him before he gets to that point.
In Canine Support Teams he only gets positive reinforcement there are no training collars or heavy corrections. He is getting use to wearing a head collar / halti which helps with his pulling but when I saw him on Tuesday he was walking like a perfect gentleman. The ladies LOVE him and he is responding so positively to this training.
SECOND PART OF THE LETTER
I just wanted to give you a little more detail on Apache and his progress. Like I said below his GDA training became very apparent when it came to rewards….He was much better this week than he was the week before about taking a treat without an “okay” command…A week ago he would just stare at the treat and he would not take it without the okay…..I have given the instruction that if they click they treat, just give it to him don’t wait for him to take it, that seems to be working better.
A week ago he would not pick his feet for any commands like my lap, place, jump on, up, etc. Again his four on the floor GDA training is very apparent. They finally got him to jump on and really through a big party so to speak when he did it….Big Praise, Jackpot treats….he was so proud of himself, they said he was like I get praise for that…woohooo let me get down and do it again. As you know CST is all about positive rewards for learning new commands we want him to think he has hit the jackpot when he figures it out. It is so rewarding to watch his growth week after week.
His Trainer works with the Forestry Service, so his visit to the Fire Station came in handy. They where surprised that he did not have any issues with the Fire Trucks. He did however, shy away from someone who had work gloves on. He did after investigating the gloves accept a pet from a gloved hand. You really don’t think about what dogs can become shy about.
He is continuing to work on directional work, he will move onto Task work later in his training. Right now he still needs encouragement to come up off the floor with some of his other commands. He is such a sweet boy, he is really being good about not jumping up on anyone. He has done it twice to the secondary trainer who was anticipating it and stopped him before he could actually get all the way up. He is learning to wear the halti/head collar and that helps with the loose leash walking. The Ladies love him, he walks around so proud..
They keep him beautifully groomed and he looks great. He is responding so positively to this training…he is going to make an awesome service dog. It’s wonderful to see him and hear from his trainers the progress he makes each week.
So awesome! I’m glad Apache is doing so well and it seems like he’s really enjoying the positive reinforcement training they use at CST. I knew everyone would love him because he really is the sweetest dog and he’s probably just loving all of the attention.
I’m so excited for Apache! I can’t wait to get my next letter on his progress.
How about you other puppy raisers out there? What’s the word on your pups that have started their formal service dog training? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
Apache left for guide dog college nearly two months ago and if you’ve been following us here on the blog and on Facebook then you already know that he was career changed due to medical conditions.
However, some good news did come from this. At first we thought Apache would go into the GDA Adoption program, but we recently found out that he was accepted into the Canine Support Teams Prison Pup Program!
An Update On Apache’s Service Dog Training
Apache is now training to be a service dog in the CST Prison Pup Program
Unfortunately, I haven’t received any pictures of Apache in action during his service dog training. So for now you’ll just have to look at some of his old puppy pics. We did receive an email message with an update on Apache and his sister Asha who is also entering the Prison Pup Program. Here’s the email we received:
Asha and Apache are doing well they spent the first few days at Sherri Peek’s Ranch, she has a boarding kennel there where she evaluates all the dogs before they head into CIW Chino Institute for Women. She fell in love with both of them, they enjoyed their time at the ranch and were able to just unwind play with other dogs and just be dogs.
She evaulated both Asha and Apache and is so happy to have such well adjusted solid dogs. On Tuesday they both were taken into CIW and matched with inmate Trainers. The Trainers were so excited to have such beautiful dogs, GDA Career Change dogs and a big surprise to them. They know how well our dogs are socialized and they love having them.
I worked with the Trainers on the commands the dogs know and what the equivelent command would be…such as “Get Busy”, in service dog world it is “Better go Now “, we do (GDA) a different formal come, CST does a come and a come here. So there are a few things that are different.
This next week the dogs will be getting used to the surroundings, a new routine, and a new Trainer. CST training is broken down into tracks, the first is obedience, the second directional and the third is task work. They will be working on obedience and directional to start.
Directional has elements of obedience but for positioning CST commands to name a few would be heel is on the left, side is on the right, they have a command “go around” “go through” “go in” used to go under a table for instance. There are many, many commands to challenge the dogs and keep them engaged. I can assure you Asha and Apache will have lots to learn.
It sounds like Apache and Asha have a lot of challenges ahead. I think they will both do well and I can’t wait for more updates hopefully with some pictures
Apache at the docks of Morita Produce
A Little Bit About Canine Support Teams (CST)
Canine Support Teams is a non-profit, volunteer organization, made possible by the many people who volunteer their time, energy, money and love for the purpose of enhancing the lives of those affected by disabilities.
CST service dogs are placed with people who use wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or canes. CST service dogs are taught to assist their partners by pulling manual wheelchairs, turning lights on and off, pushing elevator buttons, retrieving dropped or hard to reach items, making purchases or banking transactions, opening and closing doors and drawers, barking to get help and providing stability for walking. In addition, these dogs help to serve as an ice-breaker in public situations and provide constant companionship for their partners. [Read More About Canine Support Teams]
A Little Bit About The Prison Pup Program
The “Prison Pup Program” was conceived out of a dream from a tenacious woman named Sister Pauline Quinn. Already being the trailblazer for many other Prison Training programs in which inmates are trained, mentored and finally trusted with the privilege and responsibility of training dogs for service to the disabled community, Sr. Pauline Quinn made a call to John Dovey, Warden of CIW in 2002. She also contacted Carol Roquemore, CST’s founder and CEO. Due to her tenacity and her belief in the rehabilitative benefits for the inmates and the obvious assistance they could provide to the community, in addition to the expectation of being able to shorten a nearly three year waiting list for service dogs, both John Dovey and Carol Roquemore could not say no. They embraced the opportunity to see the good that could come out of such a match! [Read More About the Prison Pup Program]
I’m so proud of Apache! I know he will be great in the Canine Support Teams Prison Pup Program.
Are you a puppy raiser? If so, have you raised a career changed puppy? What is your career changed puppy doing today? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
Make sure you bring a handkerchief for this episode of Puppy In Training TV because it’s a real tear jerker. It seems just like yesterday that we picked up a 7 week old puppy from the “D” litter that we named Dublin. As a guide dog puppy raiser we work on basic dog obedience training, puppy socialization (taking our pups out in public), and good house manners. We begin working on these things from the time our pups are 7 weeks old until they are approximately 18 months. At about 18 months we return our puppies to the schools where they begin a more intense “formal” guide dog training. This is where they learn to wear their harness, left and right turns, intelligent disobedience, and many other advanced skills.
Curious Pup, Dublin!
Dublin was a shade under 18 months when we dropped him off for “Guide Dog College”. Puppy Turn In Day is one of the most difficult days for us as puppy raisers. This is the day we’ve all been dreading when we have to say good bye to our puppies, wish them the best, and hope to see them again wearing a nice shiny harness at graduation.
Check out this weeks episode of Puppy In Training TV – Ep 18 – Puppy Turn In Day:
That one makes me a little bit sad every time I watch it. I hope you enjoyed it. Below is the transcription for this weeks episode just in case you can’t see this weeks puppy training video.
Puppy Turn In Day Transcription
PuppyInTraining.com Logo and Website Address
Hi Everyone! Today’s Dublin’s last day here. He’s going off to Guide Dog College. Stetson and Linus just wanted to say goodbye. Welcome to this episode 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
So Dublin and I headed out the front door for the last time. Just like we had done everyday for the past 1 ½ years Dublin hopped onto the passenger side floor boards of my car. And just like that we were on the road! Heading to Guide Dogs of America with Dublin for the last time.
Traffic can be unpredictable so we left nice and early. Lucky for us we arrived early…a chance to shoot some video of the campus!
The front office is normally closed on weekends so we went through the side gate. This gave Dublin a chance to work on walking calmly through a threshold.
We walked down the hill to the vets office. Then on the way back up the hill we saw Gentry and Denise who you might remember from Ep 17 and our trip to Disneyland.
We decided to walk over towards the puppy nursery and work on one last walk up the brick stairs.
Guide Dogs of America holds a short luncheon to thank all the puppy raisers on puppy turn in day. We also get a nice certificate and photo commemorating our accomplishment of raising a puppy.
We took one final snapshot with Dublin’s pal Chloe and then walked back down the hill and made our way towards the GDA kennels.
And just like that they called Dublin’s name. We’re allowed to walk our pups to the kennel and stay with them for a bit while they get used to their new roomate and their environment.
Dublin’s new roomate isa Yellow Lab Golden Retriever cross named Saffie and look! Chloe and Dublin got to be neighbors!
We went to the outdoor side of the kennel and Here comes Dublin happy to see me!
One final hug for me and Dublin and giving him some last minute advice to be a good boy.
It’s tough saying goodbye!
And finally my first walk without my pal Dublin…thinking back to all the happy memories I spent with my little buddy!
[Video of our adventures with Dublin]
Dropping your puppy off for formal guide dog training is one of the toughest things you can do as a puppy raiser. We worked really hard with Dublin on his training and we know he’ll do well in college. Thanks for joining us for our last episode…
Hold on! That can’t be the end. In fact we plan on posting more video in the coming months including hopefully a video of Dublin’s graduation. And of course there’s always a chance for Puppy In Training TV Season 2.
…of Puppy In Training TV and we hope to see you soon!
One of the saddest and happiest days of puppy raising. We’re always sad to say goodbye, but happy to let Dublin continue his journey to becoming a guide dog. A few points to add about our turn in day:
We always take off our Pet ID Tags at home. This way we don’t fumble around trying to remove the tags when we’re trying to say our goodbye’s at the kennel. The only tags you need to leave with your puppy are the ID tags that GDA originally issued to you on Puppy Pickup Day.
One of the toughest parts about turn in is so many others are crying that it just makes it that much more sad. Be prepared with sunglasses and a hanky.
We were lucky and all the pups were paired with a kennel mate. One of the things that made me feel better was to see Dublin playing with his new pal Saffie. It was the same when Stetson met up with his kennel mate. However, when we turned Stetson in there were a few pups without kennel mates which made me sad for those pups…so be prepared.
You can always call the school to see how your puppy is doing in his formal guide dog training.
Northwoods Inn generously donates food for the luncheon. Special thanks to Northwoods Inn for providing food!
We worked hard with Dublin’s obedience training, house manners, and socialization as you can see on all the puppy training videos we produced for our Puppy In Training TV series. I’m sure he’ll do well at Guide Dog College and even if he doesn’t make it as a guide we’ll still love him just the same.
How about you guys? Are you puppy raisers? What’s it like for you on Puppy Turn In Day? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
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.