I know this is a lot to read, but if you plan to take your puppy to school...this is important!
* Before taking your pup to school, make sure you have permission from all of your class instructors for you to bring the pup.
* If you have a Career Change, it is not allowed the privilege of attending school or other events or entry into buildings and businesses that you are used to taking them when they were a pup in training.
* The pup must wear its jacket anytime you take it out in public. Exceptions are walks, going to a friend’s home, etc. It is an identification that notifies people your pup is “working.”
* Remember that if you are denied entry, you cannot demand that they let you in. Pups in Training are not protected by the law in admittance into businesses. Politely ask to talk to a manager, and explain the program to them. If they still refuse you entry, thank them, and ask for a card so that we can send them more information about the program.
* Also with the start of school, comes the sometimes irksome behaviors of fellow students. We have had complaints of kids trying to unclip leashes, undo jackets, trying to take leashes away from the raiser, trying to feed the pups by hand, pulling on tails and ears, barking and growling by kids at the dog, etc. If this happens, try to move away from the situation. If that’s not possible, politely ask the person to discontinue bothering you. Or another great tactic is to get them involved in helping you train. One suggestion is if someone tries to feed your pup, tell them they can help you by offering the food to the pup. Explain why it’s important for pups not to take food from people (could be dangerous to their health, it distracts them from their job, and blind people can’t see if their dog is being fed or not). If the pup tries to take it, then you correct the pup (put them on the flat collar first). Let them try it a couple of times, then thank them for helping you. Usually if you try to get people involved with what your doing by asking for their help, it defuses the situation. If that doesn’t work, then go directly to the teacher or yard duty person. This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated, and rather than you getting involved in an argument, ask an adult to handle the matter. Our relationship with the schools is extremely important. Therefore, it is imperative that you try to avoid getting caught up in arguments with other students, but to calmly ask adult assistance to resolve it. The leaders are available to come talk to teachers and students about the guide dog program. We can come talk to a class or the whole school.
* Make sure you take a water bowl and plenty of bags with you to school (or wherever you go).
* Watch how your pup responds to the crowds of people at your school. Make sure it isn’t being stressed. If you think your pup is getting stressed (pup may start yawning, tail is tucked, ears are flat) try to find a new route to classes and avoid big crowds. Talk cheerfully to your pup in these situations.
* Take a chew toy (preferably soft) to use only in emergency if your pup gets anxious and won’t settle in class. You can call me (Pat) to come get your pup if he/she starts acting out and you can’t keep him/her in class, or if your pup gets sick (diarrhea).
* Make your pup behave. Don’t let it get excited when kids go all goofy over it. If you have a chance to talk to kids before they greet your pup, ask them to calmly talk to you first then greet the pup when you say it’s okay.
* Jackets must be on at all times at school. (Just remember you must take them off to relieve).