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You’ve seen our past puppies: Stetson, Derby, Dublin, and Apache wore a yellow Guide Dogs of America (GDA) jacket. Adelle wore a maroon Canine Suport Teams (CST) jacket. Now you might be wondering why Archer is wearing a blue jacket without a logo. Read on to find out what’s up with Archer’s jacket…
I love puppy raising! I should probably have some shirts made up with that saying on the front. Over the years I’ve volunteered with several service and guide dog organizations and watching my puppies walk up on stage at graduation has to be one of the most fulfilling things I’ve experienced in my life.
Why is today’s blog title “Service Dog Puppy Raising in Orange County”? Well it partially had to do with one my biggest gripes about puppy raising and that is making the drive to and from the guide/service dog school.
The Guide Dogs Of America Experience
When I brought home my first puppy in training, Stetson from Guide Dogs of America (GDA) things were a little different. The drives out to GDA (which would take between 1 and 2 hours) were fewer and farther between. Stetson’s puppy kindergartens were held in Orange County about 10 minutes from my house. I was allowed to use a veterinarian in Orange County that was about 10 minutes from my house. The majority of our obedience classes were held in Orange County about 10 minutes from my house. I did make trips out to the GDA campus in Sylmar, CA about once a month for obedience classes, graduations, and kennel stays, but I made the drive out once or twice a month on the weekend.
The rules have changed a little since I raised Stetson. By the time I raised my fourth guide dog puppy in training, Apache I was driving out to the campus about once a week and often times during my regular work day taking a half day off from my day job. What changed?
- I had to bring Apache to GDA for any and all vet appointments.
- GDA wanted our puppies to have more kennel stays.
Two small changes that made a big difference in my puppy raising career. If I lived closer to the GDA campus in Sylmar, CA this would not have made much of a difference. If I were retired then I probably would have been okay with these changes as well. Don’t get me wrong I love Guide Dogs of America and highly recommend them to future puppy raisers, but I could no longer afford to take half days off work for vet visits and kennel stays.
So what did I do? I tried something new…
The Canine Support Teams Experience
Canine Support Teams (CST) wasn’t closer to home, but since they were a much smaller school they did not require kennel stays or vet visits which equaled fewer trips to their campus in Menifee, CA (about an hour away from my home). Once again I was only making the drive out to the Menifee campus about once a month. Everything was great, yes? Nope! There was still something missing from my experience at GDA that just wasn’t there with CST. What was different?
- I didn’t feel like I was part of the group. Why? because I couldn’t make all of the weekly trainings and outings because it was difficult to drive out to Menifee midweek. Sound familiar? Yep, I’d have to leave work early and take a half day to get to those training and outings.
Once again something was missing. I wanted the group experience, but I couldn’t afford to take time off work on a regular basis to make trips out to Menifee. So the solution…
Service Dog Puppy Raising In Orange County
The Solution: A service dog organization with a puppy raising program located in Orange County, California. Yep, that’s the solution! I needed to find an organization with a campus located in Orange County, CA. This would allow me to have my puppy raising group without having to continually take time off work to visit a campus over an hour away. If there were a service dog school with a campus in the OC I could just use my lunch break to bring my puppy in for a vet visit, kennel stay, obedience classes, or for any other reason.
and life would be good…
So lets make a list of all the service dog schools with puppy raising programs we know about with a campus in Orange County…
Yep, I don’t know any….
The Solution: Start your own service dog school with puppy raising program! That’s why Archer’s jacket doesn’t have a logos on it. I’m trying to start my own service dog school and puppy raising program right here in Orange County. That’s the goal. I’m looking into it. I’m gathering information. Let’s make it happen!
That’s all folks. If you’re in Orange County, CA and you’re interested in raising a service dog puppy or getting involved with a service dog school then leave me a comment or shoot me an email through our contact form.
Do you guys have any questions? answers? Let me know.
Top Picks For Our Puppies
- BEST PUPPY TOY
We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
- BEST DOG CHEW
We Like: Natural Farm Bully Sticks - All of our puppies love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Bully Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
- BEST DOG TREATS
We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
- BEST FRESH DOG FOOD
We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.
Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.