Guide Dogs are trusted partners for many people who are blind and visually impaired. We know these adult dogs have been specially trained, but did you know the hard work starts before they even enter the guide dog program?
Before puppies can go to school to be guide dogs, they are loved, trained, and explore the world with their puppy raisers. These helpers make sure that from a very young age future guide dogs are introduced to all the experiences and skills they’ll need to be a great partner to their future handlers. Puppy raisers take their dogs into new environments and expose them to the everyday schedule of their human friends so they learn not to be distracted or afraid of new experiences.
So how can your dog be as well behaved as a guide dog? Here are three tips from puppy raisers:
- Be affectionate. Your puppy wants to please you, and the affection you give affection is a strong motivator.
- Be consistent. If you keep changing your mind about what is allowed, your puppy will become confused about what to do – or not do.
- Be the leader. Your pup must learn that dogs are valued members of the family, but also that dogs are inferior in status to all members of the human family.
Want to learn more? We’re hosting an event Saturday the 28th at APH. We’ll be joined by Doug and Judy Metz, and their Golden Retriever puppy Neela. They are puppy raisers form the Pilot Guide Dog Training School. Deb Lewis, President of the Louisville Guide Dog Users group will also be there with her dog Miso!