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Sorry, it’s been a few days since I posted here. As many of you know I dropped Stetson off at Guide Dogs of America last Saturday. Leaving him behind in the kennel was very tough, but I feel Stetson is in good hands with the trainers and kennel technicians.
When we arrived at the GDA campus we took a few pictures and had to drop off three items. The first thing was Stetson’s GDA Puppy In Training jacket. The second item was his medical sheet showing all the medication and vaccinations Stetson has taken since he’s been with me. The third and final item was a puppy raiser questionnaire to help the trainers know a little more about Stetson’s personality and behaviors.
Below are the questions and answers to Stetson’s puppy questionaire.
Stetson’s Puppy Questionaire
Puppy’s Name: Stetson
- How many family members worked with the puppy? One What ages are the children? n/a
- Where does the puppy sleep? In his crate next to my bed. Once in a while he will sleep on his doggie bed outside his crate and he will just sleep through the night.
- What are his favorite activities? Stetson enjoys playing in the house with his toys. He also likes playing with my other dog Linus.
- What is it’s favorite toy? His favorite is a cow ring shaped toy. He already tore it up and you have to keep a close eye on any stuffed toy you give him.
- What reaction does your dog have to loud noises? I haven’t seen him get scared by loud noises since he was under six months. I’d say he is alert when he hears a loud noise. Barking Dogs? Again he is alert, but with a barking dog he will sometimes want to investigate and will pull towards the dog on his leash.
- Has your dog been exposed to other animals? Yes, horses, cats, sheep, alpacca (sp), ducks, rabbits, squirrels, birds, coyotes, snake, and other dogs.
- In what kind of neighborhood environment did your puppy grow up? (Sidewalk- less areas, livestock areas, high traffic areas) We live in a condo community in Irvine and get decent foot traffic. We’re not to close to major streets. We’re on the golf course with lots of grass out front. There are lots of neighborhood dogs Stetson has met on our waks.
- How is your puppy at being restrained? Very good in the cradle position. Unless he’s very excited he’s very good at holding his stay position. During Vet Exam? Excitable when first meeting the vet, but most of the time easy to examine. While cleaning it’s ears? It’s very easy to clean his ears he will usually be in a sit-stay or I will clean his ears in the cradle position. While on tie-down? He will sometimes stand when on tie down, but eventually he will lay down. I’ve never noticed him get over anxious on tie down.
- Any chronic health problems? He’s had an ear infection in his right ear several times since I’ve had him. He’s had acne on his chin twice.
- Any problem areas? he’s excitable when he meets new people or dogs. Usually he will calm after a few minutes. He sniffs around a lot, vbut will respond to the command “no sniff”
- How much is your dog currently eating? 3 cups once a day in the morning. What brand of food? Canidae.
- Please list anything you would like trainers to know about your puppy. One thing I’ve noticed about Stetson is that his pads are very sensitive to the heat. He will also try to avoid walking over things on the sidewalk like the electric meter block and also the metal slabs (I always make sure they are not too hot). Since he was little I’ve used a special bowl to keep him from eating too fast. he will often times vomit if he uses a regular bowl. His righ ear has been very sensitive to ear infections. When he was with the puppy sitter he tore his claw and I think this is the reason he sometimes does not like walking on certain surfaces. He seems like his paws are sometimes sensitive when you handle them or trim his nails.
The Journey Continues…
Now that Stetson has moved out of my house to the GDA campus you may be wondering “now what?” Well, I plan on raising another puppy however not any time soon. I’d like to see how Stetson does with his formal training. If he doesn’t choose to be a Guide Dog and comes home to me then I’d like to start training him as a therapy dog.
I’ll do my best to keep everyone updated on Stetson’s adventures and will also continue to add posts to this blog. If you have anything in particular you’d like me to write about then please send me and email or leave me a comment.
Thanks to everyone for all the support during Stetson’s turn in this past weekend. Everyone’s advice and kind words really helped me get through the last few days. Stetson on the other hand was happy to play with his new kennel mate Ninya and didn’t even seem to know I had left. That makes me feel better because I know he’s very adaptable…a good trait for a guide dog!