When our pups are 8-9 weeks old, they're ready for their first road trip. They say goodbye to their birthplace, our California campus, and embark on the first leg of their journey toward becoming Guide Dogs. They are loaded up in our "puppy truck" which is specially designed with their safety and comfort in mind. The truck makes dozens of trips throughout the year, and is driven by our own staff "puppy storks," who delivers the special cargo to the arms of eagerly waiting volunteer puppy raisers.
It's an exciting day when our puppy truck comes to town and it visits a lot of towns! Our pups are raised in 9 Western states listed below:
What do the pups learn while they're in the Puppy Raising Program?
Once in the comfort of their new homes, the pups begin to learn about their environment. They learn basic obedience and good manners, and are socialized to the world. In addition to learning good house behaviors, the pups are exposed to a variety of situations, places and people. They accompany their raisers just about everywhere. Here are a few examples of the places our puppies are socialized:
- grocery stores
- school and work
- shops and malls
- trains, planes and automobiles!
Our puppies have the pleasure of living with their raiser families for 14 to 18 months before returning to our school for formal training to become guides.