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Are You Interested In Puppy Sitting?

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Last week Apache went back to school to start his formal guide dog training.  It’s both a happy and sad day.  Happy because he gets to start the next leg in his journey to becoming a guide dog and sad because I will miss having him by my side every day.  However, there are always 2 questions I get asked when I bring my puppy back to school:

  1. When would you like to get another puppy?
  2. Are you interested in puppy sitting?

Actually question #1 usually gets asked before turn in, during turn in, and after turn in.  Why not?  Who could resist an adorable little puppy?  Like I said last week…on our way out we stopped by the nursery to see the adorable puppies…


Black Lab Puppy
I’m a little black Labrador Retriever Golden Retriever Cross Puppy

Who could resist that face?  Well, apparently me because when the GDA Puppy Department asked me: “When would you like to get another puppy?”  My answer was that I’d like to take a little break from puppy raising.

However, I had no problem answering yes when I was asked:  “Are you interested in puppy sitting?” It’s been less than a week since Apache was turned in to the school and already I’ve agreed to 2 puppy sitting assignments.

The good news about this past weeks puppy sitting assignment…lots of puppy pics to share!  We post most of our puppy pics to our Facebook page so make sure you “like” our Facebook page.

Puppy Sitting

I like puppy sitting guide dog pups because it’s like puppy raising, but it’s usually a short term assignment anywhere from 1 day to maybe a couple weeks.  It gives you a chance to work on the same puppy obedience training, socialization, house manners that you do with your own guide dog puppy in training.

We’ve been puppy sitting an 8 week old yellow Labrador Retriever named Toby who’s the cutest most adorable puppy in the world!  Actually, I’ll let you decide.  Take a look at some of his pics:

Toby with his new toy
Toby loves playing with his doggy toys!

Yep, that’s Toby!   He even has a little smile on his face in that picture.  Irresistible!  Toby is learning that he can’t harass Stetson and Linus all day and sometimes he needs to just play by himself with his toys.

Toby cradle position
Cradling Toby the bat!

In honor of the release of the latest Batman movie: The Dark Knight Rises, Toby is doing his best Batman impersonation!

Honestly, we’re just teaching Toby to be calm while he’s cradled.  It’s important for us to teach our puppy to be cradled and handled.  A blind person will need to be able to run their hands all over their guide dog in order to check for any health problems.  We practice with our puppy on his back between our legs feeling his tail, ears, face, legs, paws, and chest.  Sometimes it takes a little while to get a puppy used to being cradled and handled so we make sure and work on this with all of our pups.

Toby and the giant teddy bear
Toby got a new doggy toy today…

It’s good to have lots of different textured dog toys for your puppy.  Okay, so maybe this is an extreme example, but just in case you didn’t notice puppy’s like to chew.  That is why I recommend many different textured toys (KONG, Nylabone, Plush toys, etc.) because once your puppy gets bored with one type of textured dog toy you can swap it out for a completely different type of toy.  This makes it more interesting for you pup.

Was I right?  Is Toby the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen?  I’m really enjoying puppy sitting Toby and I will definitely be sad to see him go.  However, my next puppy sitting assignment will start next week so there will be no time to rest.

If you’re interested in puppy raising or puppy sitting guide dog puppies then please let me know by sending an email through our contact form or just leave us a comment below.

So how about you?  Are you a puppy sitter or a puppy raiser?

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Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. The pup’s aren’t allowed to play with the giant bear, but in general the plush dog toys don’t last long at all with my dogs.

  2. Hi Jen,

    Puppy sitting really just reminds me how difficult the first couple months are when raising a guide dog puppy. Toby is actually a very good puppy, but he still has a bladder the size of a pea!

    Take care,

  3. Hi Jessica,

    Thanks for liking our page! So far the Lab and Golden pups don’t like the cradling immediately, but it doesn’t take long for them to get used to it.

    Take care,

  4. Hi Bella,

    We love seeing pictures of you Bella! You’re right, Toby is definitely in his mouthy phase. When Toby starts getting mouthy I slowly remove my hand and replace it with one of his toys. I make sure to have lots of different textured toys (KONG, plush toys, nylabones, pressed rawhide bones, etc) that way if Toby becomes bored with one type of texture I give him a different one. You can also try bitter apple spray. I usually just spray the stuff on whatever body part or object my puppy is chewing/mouthing/biting most pups find it repulsive, but some enjoy the taste…you never know.

    In my experience this mouthy phase usually lasts until their baby teeth fall out at around 4-5 months.

    Tell your human good luck and I’m sure you’ll be out of your mouthy phase soon.

    Take care,

  5. Hi Jodi,

    That’s quite a coincidence! Sampson must be a yellow Lab then. I’m sure he’s a handsome guy now.

    Take care,

  6. Yes, it’s very difficult giving them back, but I know they’re going on to do something special for someone else.

  7. Hi Jet,

    We probably won’t see Apache until his graduation in approximately 6 months, but we’ll give him some kisses from you guys when we see him again.

    It’s definitely tough giving them back. I even think Stetson and Linus sometimes miss them.

    Tell your mom they had the giant stuffed bears at Costco.

    Take care!

  8. Yeah, the Lab Golden cross does look a little bit different. He was a lot chunkier and fluffier then the others.

  9. Hi Daisy,

    It’s very tough giving them back. I’m already very attached to Toby and it’s only been just over a week!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Hi Pamela,

    The potty training phase is definitely not the most fun. However, not all the guide pups are so young. Our next puppy sitting assignment is with a 7 month old yellow Labrador Retriever named Journey. We’ll have him starting next Tuesday. I’m sure I’ll be working with a dog of my own again soon.

    Take care,

  11. Hi Haopee,

    The tough part is giving him back to the school, but that only comes around every year and a half or so.

    That’s great that you taught Chooey to be cradled. We think it’s important even if your dog isn’t growing up to be a guide dog.


  12. Hi Snoopy!

    I wish you lived nearby so you could play with Toby all day and wear him down. Stetson and Linus try their best, but sometimes a little puppy like Toby can be a little crazy.


  13. OMG! Toby cuteness overload! That must be great to get your puppy fix through puppy sitting, until of course you are ready for another one!

  14. I think you’re a sucker for our puppy dog eyes! That pup is too cute!
    I’m getting used to being cuddled too. It’s really hard though because all I want to do is catch and chew hands. I’m learning to ‘no biting’ and ‘ouch’ but I just get so excited sometimes I can’t help myself.
    My human wants to know what you do to stop any of that, which you must be getting with an 8 week old … please don’t tell her. *wag wag wag*

  15. Oh my Goodness they are so cute!!
    It’s amazing how you are willing to train them then give them away. I guess I am not cut out to be a trainer as I easily attached to the pets.

  16. Hey Linus, Hey Stetson, Hey Little Toby, Jet here. Hi Mr. Colby.

    OMD, we didn’t realize Apache was off to school… we would have sent him Jetty kisses and JJ hugs! (please do so when you see him…)

    What a gift you give to the world, Mr. Colby, puppy training and puppy sitting is so brave because we can only imagine how challenging it would be to let a puppy go to their next phase on their important GDA journey.

    Ok, Toby is adorable… we LOVE his bat pic… Wish Mom would get me a stuffed toy that big! Maybe I could hug it when it got scared in storms! We also love the little guy with gorgeous black fur, but… we’re biased! 🙂

  17. Hi Colby. This is very interesting one. I have never seen a puppy like that at any where. It’s very awesome for any one and any one can easily attract by her.

  18. You’re doing a great job Colby! All these puppies are so cute, we’d be broken hearted to give any of them back. But we really admire what you and your family are doing!

  19. I’m sure the year to 18 month commitment to raising a guide pup is more than some people feel ready to take on. Providing respite care for guide pup raisers and socialization ops is a great idea for helping out without taking on the long commitment.

    Of course, if you keep getting young babies, you’ll never get past the potty training phase. After a few puppy sitting jobs, you might feel ready to have one puppy to grow up with. 🙂

  20. Wow, isn’t that every dog lover’s job? To be a responsible parent for a puppy who’ll eventually end up helping someone. With great cuteness comes great responsibility.

    The part where you were talking about cradling the dog… I did that Chooey but I never knew it could help her. Cool. Thanks for sharing that in your article.

    Have a great week preparing for your next puppy charge.

    Huggies and Cheese,


  21. Hey Colby,

    You’re so right, Toby really is the cutest ever!! How wonderful that you got to bring him home for a little bit!1 By the way, I wouldn’t mind playing with him all day, just so he doesn’t get bored!! Tee Hee

    You do such an awesome job 🙂

    Big Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

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