Kinderpuppy garden

Kyndall attended her very first class last night, the first of the 8-part “kinderpup” session. I came away feeling elated for at least 2 reasons.

1) Unlike a few of her fellow classmates, she didn’t whine or bark or shriek or lunge to play with the other dogs. Mostly, she sat or went into a down-stay and watched attentively.

011315 Class-Kyndall

2) Having been through all the classes (5 times before), we’re aware of how much time we’ll be spending with our classmates over the next 15 months. And this promises to be an excellent group. It included 8 puppies, but one is 5 months old and will probably be moving up to the next older set. Among the remainder, three are first-time puppy raisers.

011315 Class-sisters

Of the veterans, Steve and I are the least experienced. We know all the more senior hands. Candy Carlton’s Hawk is #9 for her.

011315 Class-Hawk
He’s a handsome fellow.

Willie Crawford’s Miso is her 10th.

011315 Class-Miso
Look at those adoring eyes. (In the background is Bob Schneider, one of our friends who are working on a documentary about raising service dogs.)

Rounding out the group are Dan and Janice Flynn who enjoy an almost mythic status. Their current gorgeous baby golden retriever, Meri, is the 20th CCI puppy that they’ve raised; the vast majority of them have graduated.

011315 Class-Meri
She’s not only a blonde bombshell, but she also seemed to know about 10 commands already.

That means we’ll have regular contact with a deep pool of puppy-raising talent. And that’s not to mention Bob Smith, our instructor. Just last night he give Steve and me a couple of useful concrete suggestions, e.g. where to position our hands while cradling Kyndall in order to best control her. It was yet another reminder of how much there is to learn about the complex task of transforming a clueless baby animal into a revered service companion.


8 thoughts on “Kinderpuppy garden

    1. I wonder about that! I’ve been having Kyndall and Tucker practice the Down command together. Of course, Tucker’s only problem with it is that at his age, his joint are getting stiff. But he always goes right down for a treat, and as Kyndall watches him doing that, I can almost see the wheels turning. In puppy class, however, it’s probably more about having the pups get used to the distraction of having potential playmates so close at hand than it is about having them imitate each other.


    1. CCI urges us to use the Haltis right from the beginning, I think primarily because it can take a while for the puppies to get used to them. That really varies from dog to dog. Kyndall has adjusted to hers really well, but one of the other, most experienced PRs in our class told us she’s having more trouble with her current pup than she’s ever had before. The thing is, by the time the dogs are 40 or 50 (or more!) pounds, the halters give you a huge amount more control than you would have with any simply neck collar. But if you wait until they’re big to start using the halter, it may take a really long time to get them accustomed to it.


      1. Thanks for your response. I’m a puppy raiser for PADS in Vancouver and we do things very differently. We start with just a plain buckle collar really focus on instilling loose leash walking, if the dog still pulls then a no-pull harness is used and then the Head Halti as a last resort as many dogs seem to hate it. It is interesting how the different organizations do things and there is no one way 🙂


      2. That’s for sure! Actually, I find it comforting to be reminded how many approaches one can take. One thing that has really worked for us (to accustom the really young puppies to the Halti) is that we feed them with the Halti on — and then immediately remove it when they’ve finished eating.


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