Hi all FB & Blog friends…
here is another nice piece from the recent Guide Dogs news
Life as a Puppy Raiser Written by Jan de Waal
The Puppy Raising Scheme was developed to provide the S A
Guide-Dogs Association with dogs that are prepared for advanced
training and their future as working dogs.
Puppy Raisers are very special volunteers who take a puppy into
their homes, hearts and lives from the age of seven weeks until
they are 12 months old.
I am privileged to have been selected as a Puppy Raiser some six
In order to become a Puppy Raiser, you need no special
qualification. There are only a few key ingredients required.
The first and most important of these is unconditional love for
your puppy (this can prove to be quite trying at times).
Secondly, you need endless patience. You also need to be fairly
fit and if you are not, you will soon be. You should be able
to, especially in the beginning, cope with very little sleep.
Lastly, you have to have ample free time and love cleaning the
When I was given my first pup (a gorgeous black male Labrador
retriever), I felt quite confident that the process was going to
be easy. Had it not been for the tremendous support and
continuous guidance from the puppy supervisors, I most
certainly wouldn’t have survived.
The first few days with your pup involves a lot of time bonding
with him. During this time you will also be tasked to teach
your pup his name and that he should come when called. All this
is achieved with positive re-enforcement and Clicker Training.
You may well ask what on earth clicker training is. Don’t worry,
you will soon be taught this. It is great fun for you and the dog.
One of the most important learning exercises is for the pup to go
to the bathroom on command. Apart from some obvious
accidents this was fairly easy. I used crate training to assist
in teaching the dog this, but be prepared to wake up three or
four times a night in the early days.
After my pup had received all his vaccinations (week 16), I was
able to take him out to expose him to all the required experiences.
These included introducing my pup to children and people of
all races and ages. My pup also had to learn how to behave
in shopping centres, shops and restaurants.
The dogs are taught not to climb on furniture or sleep on human
beds. During his time with me, my pup had to learn how to walk on
a lead, refrain from sniffing or scavenging and that he should
not be distracted with what is going on around him.
Just when you feel confident your pup has achieved all these
goals, it is time for him to start his advanced training.
I am often asked: But how can you give them up? The answer
is quite simple. With great difficulty and lots of tears, like
you do when your children are all grown up and you are left to
deal with the empty nest syndrome. This is why I must carry
on and start all over again.
Please click on the link below to make an online
Click to Donate
If you prefer to donate via EFT our banking details are as follows:
S A Guide-Dogs Association
Nedbank Branch 198765
Ref: Donor Number / Name
Thank you for your consideration in assisting GDA to provide
Guide, Service and Autism Support Dogs, as well as training
practitioners to assist people who are visually impaired with
skills of daily living.
Please contact Juliette Powell on +27 11 705 3512 or
[JulietteP@guidedog.org.za] should you wish to discuss these
Blogger Barry: Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed? Please
use the comment and follow buttons and share if you like. Til next