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Interview A Guide Dog Puppy Raiser

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If you’ve been reading through the service dog blogosphere then you’ve probably come across these Puppy Raiser interview questions in the past week.

Last week I was reading through my list of service dog blogs in google reader and kept coming across this questionnaire put together by Erin. So to keep up with the other bloggers in the service dog group I decided to fill out the questionaire myself as well.

Here are my answers to Erin’s questions.

Stetson And Colby’s Puppy Rasier Interview

1. How many puppies have you raised?
Stetson is my first puppy.

2. Why did you start raising?
I enjoy volunteering my time and before Guide Dogs of America I was volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and Working Wardrobes. I was at the Pet Expo in Costa Mesa about 3 years ago and I saw some of the Guide Dog puppy raisers. At that time I thought puppy raising would be a great way to volunteer time. However, before guide dogs I decided to volunteer as a foster for a local dog and puppy rescue. About 2 years ago I started fostering dogs and litters of puppies for the Cuddly Canines Rescue. In October 2006 I started researching the Guide Dog groups in California. I sent information out to Guide Dogs of America, Guide Dogs For The Blind, and Guide Dogs of The Desert International. In February of 2007 I picked up Stetson from the GDA facility in Sylmar, CA.Stetson and Me

3. How long have you been a puppy raiser?
Since January 2007

4. What is one thing you have learned in raising?
One thing you learn real quick as a puppy raiser is consistency. Stay consistent with your commands and all the training you do with your puppies.

5. What have your puppies taught you?
Stetson has taught me to be more social when out in public. Everyone likes to hear about Stetson wherever we are whether it be the grocery store, movie theater, or my office at work.

6. What is the strangest thing someone has asked/said to you about your puppy?
Is it going to be difficult to give him up? Just Kidding…Probably that people read his jacket…”Guide Dog, huh, what’s he gonna do?” “Ummm, he’s going to be a guide dog for the blind.”

7. Do you give your puppies real name out in public?
Never thought about doing that.

8. What is the most embarrassing incident that you’ve had with your puppy?
He didn’t have an accident at the vets office, but as soon as we left the office he pooped on the other side of the door. Kind of embarrasing, but at least he waited until we got outside…good boy Stetson!

9. What is the most proud moment you’ve had with your puppy?
Stetson passed his Canine Good Citizens test in February 2008. We ordered is certificate and also got him a special Canine Good Citizens tag.

10. What advice do you have for newbie puppy raisers?
They may be adorable as little puppies, but the first month has to be the most difficult time. Stetson howled, whined , and cried anytime he was in his crate or riding in my car. It took about a month of staying consistent with him in the crate and car and now he rarely ever makes a sound. Be consistent with your puppy’s training!

Unfortuntately, I’m not the most experienced puppy raiser. I’ll see if I can get some of the other puppy raisers from our group to fill out this questionnaire.

Do you have experience as a service dog puppy raiser?

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    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
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Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. I would love to get some information on what may be asked of me if I make it to the interview/in home visit? Kind of just want to evaluate myself a bit and see if I would even have a chance at being a puppy raiser someday. Thank you.

  2. So cool, I haven’t seen your blog until now. Do you mind if I link to it?

    Anna (the raiser)
    Arturo (cc’d GDB pup)
    Lawrence (GDB pup IFT)
    and Pomona (GDB pup transferred)

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