A dog crate is an unattractive necessity, especially when you raise puppies for a service dog organization. At the beginning stages of housebreaking, crates are scattered around my house. Multiple crates. Multiples sizes. Holding tanks for active bladders. Some soft-sided. Some cage-like. All ugly.
So my son and I designed a dog center in our laundry room. The rendering below was our initial inspiration.
We took a well-used laundry room closet and redesigned the space. It now fashionably accommodates the same items as before and the dog, too! Here’s how it turned out.
Ample cabinet storage space surround the crate. A Corian countertop sits on top of a KraftMaid CoreGuard kitchen sink base. (I had the center strip of the sink base removed–where the doors rest when closed.) One of Home Depot’s great kitchen designers helped me find this gem. It’s an engineered polymer kitchen sink base with slightly pitched forward shallow ribbing. Why did I choose that? Because puppies pee. Any accidents will flow to the front of the base and can be wiped up easily. Happy puppy. Happy owner! And don’t worry about the ribbing. The dogs don’t mind it. If you do, buy a crate mat. (more…)
Combining the love of dogs and mankind to produce an amazing charity!
Canine Companions for Independence is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.
See this furry puppy? This is the day I picked her up from the Canine Companions for Independence North Central Regional Training Center in Delaware, Ohio and brought her into my home.
This adorable bundle of love is a service puppy in training. Over the next 18 months I will raise her, love her, feed her, care for her and train her in the 30 commands that she will need to go on to Advanced Training with the hope of becoming a service dog for a child or an adult with a physical disability other than blindness. And as I said many times before, all this is done for FREE.
Volunteers raise the puppies for free so that the people who need these dogs can get them for free. It’s as simple as that. (more…)
Housebreaking a puppy is frustrating work. Housebreaking a puppy in below zero temperatures is brutal. In and out. In and out. Coat on. Coat off. Boots on. Boots off. Gloves on. Gloves off. Wait…no…don’t pee! Rats!
In a frozen stupor, my contact lenses fogging up over a cup of hot coffee, I daydreamed of a future where someone discovers a better way to get this job done. Here is my plan.
For all of you out there housebreaking a puppy during the winter of 2013-2014, God bless you.
Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) is my favorite non-profit organization. It provides highly-trained assistance dogs and ongoing support that enhance the lives of children, adults and wounded veterans with disabilities other than blindness.
Meet Melba II, the 8 month old labrador/golden mix that I am raising for CCI. As a puppy raiser, I know first hand what care is taken to train these pups to be future service dogs that are given free of charge to individuals that can demonstrate a need. Raising Melba II is an honor and a privilege.
Thanks to great sponsors like Eukanuba and support from other fine corporations and donors like you, Canine Companions for Independence can continue with their mission to breed, train and place Exceptional Dogs for Exceptional People. If you’d like more information about CCI or would like to donate to a wonderful cause, please CLICK HERE. Otherwise, meet our newest batch of service dogs, the E litter, born to Taya. Enjoy the puppy cam! (more…)
Big dogs or small dogs, all dogs need training. But what exactly do you expect your dog to do? What role does the dog have in your family life? What is your envisioned goal?
I have two golden retrievers. I am also a service dog puppy raiser. When I began training my pet golden retrievers, I trained with the mindset of advancing through the classes until the dogs became Canine Good Citizens. They did.
The certificates are figuratively on the wall. The tags are on their collars.
But one cold snowy morning, my prey-driven golden retriever escaped through an open garage door and ran across the street. Her goal was geese. She did not listen to the come command. She did not listen to the drop command. I had to physically retrieve my retriever from a water retention basin in nothing more than jeans and a shirt.