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Old 10-14-2012, 08:44 AM
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k9krazee k9krazee is offline
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Default Puppy Raisers?

I am seriously looking into being a puppy raiser for Leader Dogs for the Blind.

Anyone have any experiences with being a puppy raiser, anecdotes or advice?
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:52 AM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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A student of mine was a raiser for a similar group - she really enjoyed it, but the rules on how you trained the dog were REALLY restrictive and old school. He wasn't allowed to have *any* toys except for nylabones and no food treats at all after he was 6 months old.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:24 AM
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k9krazee k9krazee is offline
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How would they know?

It makes me nervous that this group in particular doesn't do home visits or really enforce that you go to their obedience classes. They do provide starter toys but you are supposed to provide collars, toys, leashes, treats, etc. They suggest a food, but I'm not sure how strict that is.

I think it'd be extremely hard to give the dog up, but I'm really interested in teaching the foundations for a good dog and watch it be successful in it's work. It might also help the OH adjust when I choose a lab for our permanent dog...or solidify his want in a small dog.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:04 PM
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*blackrose *blackrose is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9krazee View Post
How would they know?

It makes me nervous that this group in particular doesn't do home visits or really enforce that you go to their obedience classes. They do provide starter toys but you are supposed to provide collars, toys, leashes, treats, etc. They suggest a food, but I'm not sure how strict that is.

I think it'd be extremely hard to give the dog up, but I'm really interested in teaching the foundations for a good dog and watch it be successful in it's work. It might also help the OH adjust when I choose a lab for our permanent dog...or solidify his want in a small dog.
I raised Sadie for Leader Dogs for the Blind when I was in highschool.

We filled out a written application, then had a phone interview. They didn't come inspect our home, but they were the one organization that didn't care that we didn't have a fenced in yard (ten acres in the middle of nowhere) as long as we didn't let her run loose and that we needed a female puppy due to our male Lab having the potential to be same sex aggressive.

It took about a year from our application process to get placed with a puppy. We picked Sadie up when she was seven weeks old and brought her home. We were 100% responsible for her care - food, crate, toys, collar, leashes, training supplies, etc. I think had we been near their own personal vet clinic they would have supplied the vet care, but it was an eight hour drive for us so we paid for her vet care as well.

They highly recommended feeding Purina Pro Plan because that is the food they feed when the dogs go back for further training and they want to avoid having food transition issues. We did feed it to Sadie, didn't have any issues.

You can't alter the dogs, because when they are returned they are evaluated as potential breeding prospects. So if you have a female pup, be prepared to go through a heat (or two) before the pup is returned.

We were responsible for her training and socialization. They did require her to attend a puppy kindergarten/basic obedience class. (We did Petsmart.) After that, it was all on us. There were monthly meetings where our "puppy raiser adviser" would meet with us and the other puppy raisers in the area, but due to our schedule we had a really hard time making them. (Course, our adviser was an incompetent idiot that would tel us the night before when a meeting was scheduled...) The one we did get to go to was really neat, because it let the dogs meet with a fireman dressed up in full garb and experience a "smoke house" simulation. The adviser we had was very old school with her methods (choke chain, yank-and-crank), but we were able to train Sadie how we pleased. It probably helped that she was a very well behaved girl.

There were a few rules: don't let the dog off leash in an insecure area, don't feed the dog table scraps, don't let the dog on the furniture, make the dog ride on the floor of the car, not on the seat, etc., etc. And the command to make the dogs potty in public was "go park", because that is apparently not offensive to John Q public. LOL

We had her for just over a year, then we had to return her for evaluation/further training. It was hard. I bawled like a baby and was miserable the entire eight hour drive home. Six years later and I still miss that dog terribly. I had secretly hoped she would fail her evaluation and we could adopt her, but she passed with flying colors and was placed with a person. When she retires we will have the opportunity to adopt her back.

I really, really enjoyed doing it and have considered doing it again. But I'm at the point in my life that the next puppy I have, I want it to be MINE and I don't want to have to give it back.

Sadie. God, I miss that dog.:



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Old 10-14-2012, 03:25 PM
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Locke Locke is offline
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It is SO MUCH FUN!! If I liked puppies, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

The organization I went through provided all food, vet care and crates. You had to attend an "outing" each month, and at 6 months they tested the dog's progress on elevators, escalators, fire stairs, large crowds, etc. and then tested again at a year of age.

The only rule we had was we HAD to crate train. We were asked not to do any real training so as not to screw up future guide dog training. Sit and lay down were okay though.
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