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…but I missed the Guide Dog Demonstration 🙁 We were late for the Guide Dogs of America open house this year and we missed the Guide Dog demonstration. I felt even worse about missing the demo when I heard that our friend Dustin was one of the dogs in the demonstration. Everyone told me he did really well and lucky for me Joanna and Camry took a short video of Dustin and posted it to their blog.
Lucky for me we did get a chance to check out the other activities at the open house.
The Puppy Trials
The puppy trials are my favorite part of the open house and I was hoping to take Stetson through the event. Unfortunately, Stetson was in the kennels and I didn’t even get a chance to see him. I did get a chance to snap a few photos of the contestants and obstacles in the trials.
Puppy trials began at 11:30am. Here’s what you need to do when you arrive (a reference for next year…hopefully I’ll have a puppy I can enter):
- Check in at the Entry Table when you arrive.
- Listen for your number to be called to start the obstacle course (10 numbers will be called at a time).
- Return your number to the Entry Table to receive your participants ribbon.
- Announcement of Puppy Trials
First Place winners of each age group will have a permanent place on our Top Dog Plaque, which will be displayed in the kennel building. Stetson’s brother Stuart finished first in our age group last year.
In the picture below do you see the obstacle to the left? Those are hot dogs on a stick and marshmellows. This little yellow lab has his eye on the prize, but he successfully avoided those little wieners.
The first time I introduced Stetson to stairs he was horrible. He liked to pull and run up the stairs even when I told him to heel. However, after a lot of practice Stetson became a master at the stairs. This yellow lab looks as thought he’s mastered the stairs as well.
Last year Stetson successfully ignored the ducks and llamas. The duck is actually on the right side outside of the picture. Sorry for the lousy picture the shadows were not treating me well in this photo.
Some of the other obstacles the puppies have to navigate are basic commands in the grass, walk through a pile of wood chips, simulation of a dining room environment, vet check, and sitting quietly on the bus.
Other Stuff Happening At Open House
For small donations they have food available including a bake sale at the Girl Scouts booth. The regular silent auction has tons of great baskets and last year we bid on several coming home with a basket full of cat products (my mom loves cats). This year nothing caught our fancy and we didn’t bid on any of the baskets. There’s also a children’s auction.
We also went on the GDA campus tour this year (I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Stetson in the kennels). We toured the grounds and the dorms, but didn’t get to go in the kennels 🙁
There’s also a raffle that included some great prizes. I think the coolest prize would be to “Spend A Day With A Trainer”. Unfortunately I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t get a chance to buy any raffle tickets.
There’s also a puppy kissing booth and several booths with GDA and other merchandise.
If you missed the Guide Dogs of America Open House then hopefully you’ll visit next year. I plan on going and hopefully I’ll have a new puppy to take through the puppy trials.
Top Picks For Our Puppies
- BEST PUPPY TOY
We Like: Snuggle Puppy w/ Heart Beat & Heat Pack - Perfect for new puppies. We get all of our Service Dog pups a Snuggle Puppy.
- BEST DOG CHEW
We Like: Best 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: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites - One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.
Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.