Guidelines for New Raisers

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Correct the pup for

  • Mouthing or biting you or the lead
  • Sniffing the ground (unless told to ‘do your business’)
  • Trying to pick things up
  • Barking or whining

Use a correction hard enough to get a response the first time, but no harder—this takes practice and learning about your individual puppy. If you are not making progress or it seems like the puppy is not affected by your corrections, call a leader. There are other methods we can try.

House behavior

  • Never leave the puppy loose or unattended in the house—use a crate or dog run when you are not taking him with you.
  • Puppy should be on a leash, tie down, or drag line in the house at all times. They earn more freedom with good behavior.
Out and About
  • When you are walking your puppy, keep the leash loose at all times. Remember, you are in control, not the puppy! Watch him/her and get him to pay attention to you. If you are having to correct repeatedly for the same thing, you are either not correcting hard enough, or you need to try refocusing your puppy by turning around abruptly and going the opposite direction, or having the puppy do sit/down/stand or whatever it takes to get him looking at you and responding to your commands.
  • It is a good idea to get a nametag with your personal information on it to attach to the puppy’s collar. This tag can be reused.
  • Clean-up kits—don’t leave home without one! You should have a backpack or hands-free bag with absorbent material (disposable diapers work well), plastic bags, and wipes.
  • Puppy coats must be worn at any time the puppy is in public.
  • GDB puppies must ride on the floor of the car—but never in the front seat of a car with air bags. You can use a tie-down if it helps.
  • Puppies under 4 months of age may not go to places where lots of dogs visit—they do not have all of their shots and are not protected against diseases.
  • If someone wants to pet your puppy, take charge of the situation and say something like, “Sure, let me have him sit first.” It also helps to tell people that he is not allowed to lick so it helps him if they don’t put their hands/face right up to his mouth. The puppy must be in control to be petted—if the pup is not able to stay/get in control, it is OK to tell people (nicely, of course!) that this is not a good time for him to be touched.
  • Never take your puppy on an escalator or through a revolving door. These can be scary for a puppy and are taught later on at the GDB School by a professional trainer.
Your puppy counts on you to keep him safe. Watch out for kids/people stepping on or tripping over your puppy. Never let a Guide Dog Puppy run free—they must be in a securely fenced yard or on a long-line.

Veterinarian Information:
  • See your leader for Vet recommendation.
  • When you call the Vet to schedule shot appointments, make sure that they use a vaccine without Lepto. If your Vet doesn’t have the right kind, they can get it from GDB.
  • Carry the puppy into the Veterinarian until after his 4-month shots.
  • Raisers within their $250 annual allotment, who are seeking general veterinary care, should contact their leaders.
  • Raisers who have exceeded their $250 allotment should seek pre-authorization for veterinary services, please call the Vet Bill Hotline at (415) 492-4117
  • In the case of a medical emergency, raisers should seek local veterinary assistance immediately if pre-authorization is not possible in a timely manner. For example, in the case of a puppy ingesting poison, or involved in a car accident, raisers should seek veterinary care immediately and contact GDB and their leader as soon as possible.

Raising a Guide Dog Puppy should be a fun, fulfilling, and successful experience. If you are having a hard time with anything, please let us know. The leaders and your fellow club members are here to help you.


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