Service dog Puppy home for the weekend

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Service dog Puppy home for the weekend

This is a discussion on Service dog Puppy home for the weekend within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; Has anyone taken a service dog puppy in training for the weekend before? It is a very good cause as these puppies will be guide ...

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Old 07-11-2014, 01:54 PM
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Service dog Puppy home for the weekend

Has anyone taken a service dog puppy in training for the weekend before? It is a very good cause as these puppies will be guide dogs for blind or visually impaired people. Is there any special care that you need to give the puppies? I know that there training before you get them and they need to experience different things, but I am curious if anybody here has done this and what their experience was. These puppies are trained for people who were blind, so is there any special training the puppies need at the home their staying at for the weekend?
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:54 PM
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I don't mean any offense, but if these puppies are from a legitimate and reputable service dog program, the head trainer should have gone over this with you, as well as give you a packet of information on what to do and not to do with the pup over the weekend. There is usually basic foundation work already put into place, and the weekend puppy raiser has to continue that. Has this pup learned any cues yet? How old is he/she?

The most important thing is safety, and positive associations/socialization. Socializing this dog in the wrong way could be detrimental to it's overall training. So make experiences with new sights, sounds and things as positive as possible, every time. And again, it's safety is of the utmost importance. Do not take the puppy to unknown places with unknown factors like off-leash dogs, obnoxious children, etc. Make sure if/when he/she meets children, that they are supervised by their parent, and behaving in a way that is positive for the dog. Do not let children manhandle the pup simply because it's a service dog prospect and needs socialization.

Make sure to keep him/her busy with treat dispensers and/or puzzle toys. Crate or tether the pup to you if you are unable to supervise in a room. Follow steps here on the forum, in the housetraining section there are stickies which have tons of potty training info. Remember to never scold for accidents (even when caught in the middle of one), and praise, praise, praise for going outside. Most service dogs are taught to potty on command, but i'm not sure if that will be a factor for you, if the dog is too young to learn that yet.

Do not let the puppy meet strange dogs with unknown temperaments, and NEVER let it off-leash in public. There's obviously much more, but I don't know what this dog's schedule is supposed to look like, and again, this should've been gone over by the head trainer. Again I mean no offense, but this is why I can't stand less-than legitimate programs or facilities which let just about anyone volunteer to be a puppy raiser. Even a weekend puppy raiser needs to have a good amount of dog knowledge to know how to keep the pup not only safe, but on track with socialization and training.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:10 PM
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@Megs87 we didn't sign up for the program, I just thought it was a great idea and am looking for stories of people who have done the program. Thanks for the answer though as it gave me a lot of information. The place that trains the dogs does have training sessions for three days before you get the puppy though, we are not getting one, but I am just interested in the program.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:43 PM
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Ohh, ok, I see! Well that sounds great then, and i'm glad they go over things for more than one day, that's great. Kudos to you for wanting information beforehand, you sound like a good candidate for a puppy raiser. My apologies for assuming!

At a SD company I once apprenticed for, they let people take puppies home only a few days after coming in to begin an apprenticeship. But these weren't people like I was, people already educated in the field, or at least possessing some dog knowledge. The most qualified person to be a puppy raiser there aside from me was a groomer, whom was not very educated outside grooming. There were other people there who had literally never worked with a dog before. Not only did they send these SD prospects home with these inexperienced people, but the instructions they gave them were ridiculous. I.e., telling people who've never worked with a dog before to put a choke chain on a 3 month old puppy, and jerk it if they try to sniff or eat something they shouldn't. None of the people learned how to properly care for or train a puppy, and I was disgusted. I also knew way too much for my own good to watch someone who's supposed to be instructing me (I was an apprenticing trainer, not puppy raiser), train a puppy in horribly wrong and counterproductive ways. So I never went back. Sorry for my long-winded responses, it's just a touchy subject lol. Again, kudos to you for wanting to help and for doing your research first!
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