We Need Your Help!
The Puppy Place appreciates your donations each year. I encourage our fond family of readers to donate an amount of around $20 each year so that we may support my incredibly dedicated and talented staff here.
Sarah Miller (Guide Dog Trainer), Mike Baily (Webmaster), and Round the Clock Design (Web Hosting), all help to keep the site going and keep all of your questions answered, but we need to pay them for their time and services that they provide too.
The Puppy Place has had a tough year financially speaking. We do feel that our website is useful and we receive feedback from our readers supporting this fact. If you are unsatisfied with our work, or uncertain about what your money will support, you are welcome to email your questions and comments to us at:
and we will be happy to assist you.
As always, we wish you a warm and happy holiday season and thank you so much for your support.
The Puppy Place
Since 1998, The Puppy Place web site has been funded through it's visitors. The proceeds of your donations and sales are used to support this site and guide dog puppy raisers whose work is essential to the development of future of Seeing Eye and Guide Dogs.
The Puppy Place is devoted to promoting Seeing Eye and Guide Dog programs and schools located throughout the United States.
Our volunteer staff has worked very hard to bring you a web site which is easy to use, while providing you with all the information that you need to learn more about Seeing Eye Dogs, Guide Dogs and puppy raising. You can navigate your way around this site by choosing where you would like to go from using either the
navigation links or the site map.
The Guide Dog Puppy Story
There once was an adorable German Shepherd puppy who's name was
"Thunder". Thunder was a Guide Dog puppy in training. We are what you call "Puppy Raisers". This means that we are volunteers who's job is to take a Guide Dog Puppy into our home at approximately eight weeks of age, and for the next 14 to 16 months it will receive love, basic obedience and socialization. At around eighteen months of age, we returned Thunder back to his school for evaluation. Then when he met the criteria they looked for, such as good health and even temperament, Thunder continued with formal guide dog training at the school for a period of four to six months. Upon completion of his formal training, he was carefully matched with a blind student, taking into consideration his or her lifestyle and environment. In addition, the personalities of student and guide dog, size, strength, pace and energy levels of each are matched to ensure a harmonious relationship.
Find more on fence to contain your dog .
Thunder always accompanied us when we went into restaurants, businesses, churches, shopping centers, etc. to learn and experience situations which will he encountered on a daily basis before he became a guide dog. As Puppy Raisers we provided the necessary care for his development as a future guide dog. When Thunder was working, as with our new pup, he proudly wore a special jacket or coat, that identified him and his mission and, in most cases, allowed him entry into areas that would otherwise be inadmissible to dogs.
Back to School
Yes, then the emotional day came when it was time to return Thunder back to school to finish his training for a four-month advanced program. At that point he was taught a variety of commands, such as, "find the table" or "walk to the
elevator". He also learned left from right, forward from backward, and was taught what is called "intelligent disobedience." This means, if a dog is instructed to go forward but he sees danger ahead, he will not move until the danger has passed.
After successfully completing this program, Thunder was then matched with his new human partner, and they went through a 28-day on-site training session. This is a very emotional moment when the dog and recipient first meet. The trainer hands the dog over to the recipient and describes the dog's breed, coloring, size, and personality. There are not many dry eyes in the house during this process.
A Final Thought...
The work as a puppy raiser is vital to any guide dog program. After all, someone has to provide a potential service dog with a loving home, as well as with socialization and basic obedience lessons, before the dog is old enough to go on to advanced training. Guide Dog organizations turn to puppy raising volunteers to provide for these puppies' many needs.
A good puppy raiser is flexible and relaxed, has a sense of humor, is creative, and enjoys talking to people and being out in the community. A good puppy raiser clearly understands the reason puppy raisers are so important and is capable of handling the emotional ups and downs that go with giving unconditional love to a puppy who will only be around for a little more than a year. The work of puppy raisers is deeply appreciated by those people receiving the dog that has grown from a silly wild puppy into a mature, responsible member of a team.