Tips and Reminders

Clean-up Kits
Most of our puppies are now at an age where we don’t have pee accidents, and very seldom poop accidents, so raisers only carry around baggies. A word of caution: there is no signal for when a diarrhea explosion might occur. It would be in the raiser’s or sitter’s best interest to have a zip lock kit of baggies, paper towels, packets of moist wipes, a very small spray bottle of cleaner, and a very small spray bottle of room deodorizer just in case such a disaster happens. If you have a couple of 3 X 5 cards too, it would help scoop up the mess.
  Cold Floors
Now that it is colder, your pups may show some unwillingness to lay down on bare floors. If this happens, carry around a small blanket or towel for him to lay on if you are going to be sitting in an area where there is no carpeting for an extended period of time (like class). Otherwise your dog will irritate you to death because he won't settle. Some dogs aren't affected by it, but if your dog has suddenly shown the desire not to lay down, this is probably why.
  Dogs Can Stink!
Stinky Feet: As it begins to rain, you may notice your pup’s feet are more stinky. It’s because of the mixture of dirt and water that collects on their feet. If this happens, just run a couple of inches of water in the bath tub and wash their feet. Make sure you rinse them well. Residual soap can cause irritation.

Stinky Doggy: Once the rainy season starts, you may want to give your pooch a good bath. There’s nothing worse than a stinky wet dog. Make sure you thoroughly scrub their collars too as odor collects in them. Generally, pups don’t require regular bathing, but if your pooch starts to smell when he/she gets wet, then it’s probably time for a bath. Once a month or longer between baths is often enough.

Stinky Crates: It’s probably something we don’t really think about because we think our pups don’t roll around in mud, etc., however, body oils, dust, moisture from puppy’s feet, and puppy slobber can collect to make the crate stink. So please take the time to wipe out the interior of the crate on a regular basis to help reduce stinky dog.

  Gum Removal Tip
I don’t know what there is about summer and gum, but it seems like gum chewers are more apt to spit out their gum on hot days than cold. We’ve all been there...cursing up a blue streak when we step in sticky gum. Well, you can just imagine if one of our pups steps in it; all those little hairs between the toes being globbed together by yucky sticky gum. How to get it out, you ask? Try peanut butter. The oils from the peanut butter take that sticky goo right off. Try to wipe as much of it off after getting the gum off, and your pup will take care of the rest...yum, yum! This may be a good way to remove tree sap (which your pup will get if you’re in the woods).
  Movie Tip
Most movie houses will allow Guide Dog pups in training...what better challenge than the junk on the floor. But you probably don’t want your pup to be wearing all that stuff so take along a towel for your pup to lay on.
As the weather cools off, we will be having more wind. This gives you opportunity to expose your pup to flappy things like flags and banners. Approach them slowly. If your pup balks, stand still for a minute or so, talking happily to your pup. Then take a step forward, stop, and talk to your pup. DO NOT DRAG YOUR PUP TO AN OBJECT THEY ARE AFRAID OF. Be patient, and slowly introduce. If they show continued fear, back off and move around the object at a further distance. Try to come back to that area later and try again. Be sure to talk to and praise the pup in calm, happy tones. When a puppy is afraid of something, do not expect it to “get over it” in just a few minutes. Be patient. If after a few minutes the pup is still fearful, back off. The process to get a pup to overcome its fear of something may take several tries, and not necessarily in the same day.

With smaller puppies distracted by things blowing along the ground, raisers will have to pay closer attention to their pup and give appropriate corrections. Remember, anticipate what your pup is going to do. The instant a blowing leaf catches a pup’s attention, that’s when you give a correction…don’t wait until the pup has the leaf in it’s mouth.

  Zoo Reminder
Just a reminder that Guide Dog Pups are not permitted into zoos, because many animals see them as predators. And other animals may see them as food! So keep your pup safe and leave it at home if you visit a zoo. That includes 6 Flags Marine World in Vallejo.