Author Topic: Puppy Raising in High School?  (Read 1209 times)

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Offline AdventurousEquestrian

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Puppy Raising in High School?
« on: February 25, 2017, 08:49:54 PM »
I'm really new to the whole puppy raising scene. I want to raise a puppy during either Sophomore or Junior year (I'm a freshman) with Guide Dogs for the Blind, but my entire family isn't totally convinced. Has anyone raised a puppy during high school? What was it like? How did your parents manage it, especially with work? I really want to make this happen, but my mom is... difficult, to say the least. She doesn't agree with my training methods for my pet dogs, how is she going to support a puppy, especially with all of the regulations? My dad is on board 100%, but my mom won't even try and train my pet dogs to stop their barking, much less learn how to properly treat a puppy in training.  :closedeyes:

Offline Kirsten

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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2017, 09:11:40 PM »
You'd need to talk to the program about their requirements of puppy raisers, but generally they're going to want one responsible person to be home with the puppy during the day.  They don't want pup crated or penned for long periods.  That someone is going to be responsible for supervising pup to prevent them from toileting inside the home and that takes a lot of concentration and can interfere with doing other things.  Since you'll be at school for a big chunk of the day, that responsibility would probably fall to one of your parents during that time.

Not all programs are the same.  I'm speaking generally, of most programs or of puppy raising programs I have some acquaintance with.  So you'll need the straight scoop from the program you want to work with.  Usually they'll have a booklet or something that talks about what training techniques they want you to use and you would be assigned a puppy trainer of some sort who would guide you and probably teach group puppy classes periodically.  Since it's their puppy, you have to agree to train it their way so if you don't agree with their way it's best to choose a different program to volunteer with.  Usually they're super nice about responding to emails asking questions. 

One of our members, Smithcat, is an active puppy raiser for GDB and he speaks very highly of their program.  He's raised several puppies for them and his wife, who is blind, as had at least a couple of guide dogs from them over the years.

You'll also need a plan for not allowing the puppy to learn bad habits from your existing pets (like nuisance barking).  They will tend to imitate other dogs they live with especially when very young.
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Offline Tuttleturtle

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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2017, 09:36:22 PM »
Some programs also have minimum ages to puppy raise. I looked into puppy raising for my senior project for high school, and I was under the minimum age the local program I was looking to puppy raise for had for their puppy raisers.
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Offline Ariel

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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2017, 09:49:19 PM »
I have not puppy raised for a guide program, but I would guess any would want to scope out the home, the pets in the home, and the adults responsible for overseeing the training. If you are a minor, the responsibility will fall on your parents to make sure you're getting to all the raiser meetings and outings and such. Depending on when/if you get your driver's license, you may end up needing someone to drive you to all of the meet ups. If the pets in your home are not well behaved and no one is making an active effort to curb negative behavior, a young, impressionable puppy will learn those unfavorable behaviors quickly.

Unless all the pets are at least decently behaved and under control, and all family members agree to treating the dog by the program's rules, and the responsible adult is making sure the puppy is cared for and agrees to make sure the minor raiser is doing their part in training, I wouldn't imagine a program would be keen on sending a puppy to you. Not to say never, just given what you've described, to me it would not seem ideal. However, I'm not GDB and I'm not handing out puppies, so perhaps they would think differently.
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Offline Punktestern

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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2017, 09:12:27 AM »
You'd need to talk to the program about their requirements of puppy raisers, but generally they're going to want one responsible person to be home with the puppy during the day.  They don't want pup crated or penned for long periods.  That someone is going to be responsible for supervising pup to prevent them from toileting inside the home and that takes a lot of concentration and can interfere with doing other things.  Since you'll be at school for a big chunk of the day, that responsibility would probably fall to one of your parents during that time.
Yup. You're going to need someone who can take the puppy before it's ready to go to high school with you (or the whole time, if your school doesn't allow puppies-in-training (PiTs)). Some do, some don't, none are required to.

Quote
Not all programs are the same.  I'm speaking generally, of most programs or of puppy raising programs I have some acquaintance with.  So you'll need the straight scoop from the program you want to work with.  Usually they'll have a booklet or something that talks about what training techniques they want you to use and you would be assigned a puppy trainer of some sort who would guide you and probably teach group puppy classes periodically.  Since it's their puppy, you have to agree to train it their way so if you don't agree with their way it's best to choose a different program to volunteer with.  Usually they're super nice about responding to emails asking questions.
Yeah, GDB has a big 'manual' that the club leader will be able to share with you, and you'd have access to online if you were a raiser (or leaders can get access for sitters upon request). GDB requires a monthly training and a monthly outing as a club, unless there's some extenuating circumstances. As baby puppies there's more commitment, our club did puppy classes once a week for six weeks, but that can vary a bit by club.

Quote
One of our members, Smithcat, is an active puppy raiser for GDB and he speaks very highly of their program.  He's raised several puppies for them and his wife, who is blind, as had at least a couple of guide dogs from them over the years.
They actually don't have a club in their area anymore, so he's not raising at the moment. :- ( He was looking at another organization nearby that was active in his area last I talked to him.

Some programs also have minimum ages to puppy raise. I looked into puppy raising for my senior project for high school, and I was under the minimum age the local program I was looking to puppy raise for had for their puppy raisers.
GDB allows raisers age 16 and up, and ages 9+ are allowed to participate as long as a parent/guardian is also trained and completes all requirements/goes to all of the meetings and such.

I think the biggest problem is going to be your pet dogs, like others have said. They want a place where the puppies will learn to be successful adults. The home visit will be important, and at least our club also brings in a current PiT or a leader's pet for evaluation of how the current pets act around other dogs. You're going to need the support of everyone in the home because they can undermine what you're trying to train them - If your mom is up for it, just try attending a meeting with your local club (if you aren't sure which that is, you can PM me and I'll find it for you).
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Offline Kirsten

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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2017, 01:32:39 PM »
Punk, are you raising for GDB?
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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2017, 03:35:31 PM »
I think that there a few BIG obstacles that would make this really difficult:

1. If your mom doesn't agree with how the dog is trained, that can be a serious problem. She could undermine your training/make things more difficult for you.

2. Like others have said; if you have unwanted behaviors in your other dogs, it's likely going to be picked up on by the puppy.

3. You are at school all day. And even worse, it's high school, so you're there for 6 hours minimum and you are going to have a lot of homework (I'm guessing, I suppose I don't know your specific situation, but this is most high schools). Trust me, I'm about to graduate ONLINE high school (meaning I'm home all the time), and even I still wish I had more time for Max. I feel like I've had to sacrifice a lot of things in order to properly balance his training and my schoolwork. I can't imagine how I would make it work if I were still doing brick and mortar school and wasn't able to take care of him throughout the day (with my workload, anyways).


I'm sure that you could make it work if you were really passionate about it; you would find a way to balance it with school, you would get through to your mother, maybe train your current dogs before bringing in the puppy or keep them separate from the puppy...whatever. Of course you can do it. But the big question, in my honest opinion, is should you? I adopted Max in my junior year of high school (as a puppy), so I speak from experience. I think it would be better if you focused on your studies for now, maybe worked on training your personal dogs for practice, and then when you're done with school and things have been worked out (mom is no longer an issue, other dogs are no longer an issue, you could be home with the puppy, etc) that would be the ideal time to take on puppy-raising.


HOWEVER, keep in mind that this is only my opinion, and what I would do in your shoes based off of my own knowledge and experience of how stressful and difficult high school is (even without any drama), how much of a commitment it is to raise a puppy, etc. If you choose to do this, it won't be easy. It's my personal opinion that you should wait until you're in a better situation, but maybe that's just me. I don't want to speak for you or to tell you what to do.
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Offline Punktestern

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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2017, 08:33:41 PM »
Punk, are you raising for GDB?

Yes ma'am. :- )

I'm at university, though, so I can't comment on high school raising, and I plan my schedule in part to make sure I can take care of Cambrie (especially the first quarter I had her, but even now). I know we don't have anyone in our club currently who's raising in high school. The closest we have is a young lady who worked with her school to allow her to take a PiT for parts of the day to middle school, with her mother on standby in case it was necessary and lots of leading up to it. It didn't end up happening (the dog was dropped in January for digestive concerns), but it was a lot of work on their part, and that was with willing parents and a very PiT-friendly school district (they have a teacher who is also a raiser).
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Offline SalukiLover

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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2017, 04:23:28 AM »
One of my classmates raised a pup for Guide Dogs for the Blind in the mid-2000s.  He was allowed to bring the pup to class, but this was over 10 years ago in a private high school.

The school required that seniors do a major service project, though, so his dog was partly his school work.  The community service project was major and had to include more than just doing service hours.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 04:25:28 AM by SalukiLover »
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Offline NMA

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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2017, 10:19:23 AM »
One of my classmates raised a pup for Guide Dogs for the Blind in the mid-2000s.  He was allowed to bring the pup to class, but this was over 10 years ago in a private high school.

The school required that seniors do a major service project, though, so his dog was partly his school work.  The community service project was major and had to include more than just doing service hours.

I know a few high school students who have raised puppies. All of them had full family support, because most if not all schools only allowed it on a minimal basis (for example, for a few months when the puppy was already a year old, or could only come to school every so often). GDB has a strong puppy raising network, so you might be able to do puppy swaps on the weekends or vacations or something like that, but I doubt raising solely yourself without family willing to care for the puppy would be viable from their point of view...

Offline Kirsten

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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2017, 02:38:16 PM »
Giggle.  I knew you were an adult, punk.  :wink:  (doesn't hurt to remind me of things though because I do have memory problems).  And I knew you were puppy raising, but somehow I'd thought it was for a program other than GDB and got myself confused when you obviously knew so much about GDB.  So just trying to get my head straight in case I need to direct someone interested in raising for GDB to you OR smithcat. 

I'm grateful you are here and active and able to answer questions about the program in so much detail.  Thanks!
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"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline Punktestern

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Re: Puppy Raising in High School?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2017, 04:20:57 PM »
Giggle.  I knew you were an adult, punk.  :wink:  (doesn't hurt to remind me of things though because I do have memory problems).  And I knew you were puppy raising, but somehow I'd thought it was for a program other than GDB and got myself confused when you obviously knew so much about GDB.  So just trying to get my head straight in case I need to direct someone interested in raising for GDB to you OR smithcat. 

I'm grateful you are here and active and able to answer questions about the program in so much detail.  Thanks!

Don't worry, I just wanted to note why I couldn't advise further! X- P Maybe I'll find a good photo of Cambrie in vest and set it as my profile photo. And we'll see how things go in June, I applied to an apprenticeship trainer position for when I graduate!!!! (Sorry, I'm excited for that and things are going well so far.)

You're very welcome! Glad to help any way I can. :- ) And I'm glad I'm here too, I learn so much from you and everyone else, for which I'm super grateful too.
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