Puppy raiser helps groom pup for life of service: Part II

ivycameronlakeforBlog2By Barbara Bronson

One month ago, I picked up my new Puppy in Training, named Ivy, at the Calgary airport. We were all pretty excited as we waited at the gates for Ivy and two of her siblings, who were also going to be in training.

When they came through the gates in the arms of the people who were delivering them, they looked so adorable. Ivy had a sleepy little puppy face and my heart immediately melted. After pictures and getting Ivy’s bag with her leash and toys we were ready to go.

When we got home Ivy was greeted by my other two dogs. They were friendly, but initially a bit hesitant. Within a week Ivy had decided that Sadie, our yellow lab was her new best friend. They play together so sweetly. Sadie is very gentle with Ivy and most of their play involves rolling around on each other.

We started basic training right away. Getting used to a leash and short walks, learning to sit and lie down on command and relieving on leash to the words “get busy” were some of the first things she learned. She also learned to sit patiently and wait for the whistle to blow before she could eat. Considering how much she loves her food this is quite an accomplishment!

I am amazed at how quickly Ivy picks things up, and how much consistency pays off. The training manual, obedience classes and advice of the puppy supervisor have been very helpful and made training clear and relatively easy.

I’ve been taking her on short trips in the car and into some stores, coffee shops and even a restaurant where they know us well. At first I just carried her into stores for a quick walk around.        Now I’m taking her in for short walks around on a leash when it’s not too busy.

She was pretty well behaved in the restaurant, sitting under my feet, although she did let out a few small barks initially which startled some of the people sitting nearby. It was funny though, once they saw Ivy in her blue training jacket they all smiled and said they hadn’t even noticed her before and were surprised she was so well behaved.

Alberta Guide Dog Services puppy raiser, Barbara Bronson, with Ivy.

Alberta Guide Dog Services puppy raiser, Barbara Bronson, with Ivy.

Store employees and people we’ve met in these places have all been great. Most people understand that they shouldn’t pet or interact with a working dog and are just happy to see Ivy in her little training jacket. Some people ask if they can pet her, and I say that since she’s a puppy in training it’s alright to pet her briefly if she’s behaving well.

One of Ivy’s favourite activities is to play in our backyard. She loves to run around and I manage to incorporate a lot of training into those fun times. She always seems so excited and eager to learn. She’s a happy puppy!