Thursday, March 6, 2014

First Blog Post of 2014!

And a couple months late celebration of Viking Pups Two Year Anniversary!



And sorry for the late post date. I admit it, I'm a bad blogger. Hooray! 

So, unsurprisingly, in the months I have been neglecting my responsibilities, a LOT has happened. As in, a lot. So, a quick overhaul:

Carver and Westie have both hit 7 months! 
Handsome fellows!

And looking might handsome too! 



        Westie is moving along quite well- his basics are pretty darn near mastered and is enjoying life with his new foster mama Kayla, who's taken in the little spaz and is working him extra hard- Westie's placement is coming way too soon (for us at least!), and since his placement is such an important one, he's being watched over by head trainers Mary and Allie to make sure he's right on course.  

Westie practicing 'Pressure' with Kayla

       Kayla's doing a phenomenal job with this little guy, and Westie is planning on proving just how great he is by starting work one of his clients very soon! If you remember, Westie is going to be a facility dog for a Child Advocacy Center, helping children to testify, and being fluffy and cuddly support during situations where it would otherwise be very difficult for them to cope. Westie's job is going to incredibly important and will touch a ton of lives- we're really excited to watch him help kids who need him!

Speaking of important jobs with kids…




       Carver is doing absolutely phenomenal! Carver is the seizure response dog in training, and if I understated it at all before, I definitely won't now- Carver's job is crazy tough and one of the most difficult to train for. But holy cow is he taking to it! 




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                                'Paw' will be used to wake up his client's parents in the case of a seizure!

         This 7-month old pup is well on his way to being a phenomenal service dog for his little girl. Carver's job will involve him sleeping with his client, and actually responding to her seizures- if his little girl has one in the middle of the night, Carver is trained to wake up in response, set off an alarm, and  then wake up her parents to take care of her. Although all service dogs do important jobs, Carver's is a very special one and he's going to bring peace of mind and potentially a longer life to his little girl. WE love watching him make so much progress towards such an important goal!

Carver walking with handler Allie and client Ann!

And speaking of progress….

Miss Emmy might just be the embodiment of that word!


Emmy has grown into a spectacular looking and incredibly smart young lady- at almost 10 months old, we expect nothing less!
We're even teaching her to do our homework for us!


Emmy's basics are nailed down and good to go. Her tasks are doing incredible- right now she's working on retrievals (which she's already doing from the floor, a huge step for this kind of task!), cover me (HERE is a video of Bobo, a Viking Pups alum demonstrating),  and a brand new task we've decided to call PRESSURE (which is used to perform deep pressure therapy, which offers tons of benefits side of the obvious prime position for cuddles - but I'll let the experts tell you about that!).



Emmy's most impressive step up is that she has now started working on guidework!!!! All of Team Emmy has been looking forward to doing this for a very long time, because it's such an interesting and unusual task (for us at least!). Emmy's guidework is similar in concept to what a guide dog would do for someone who is blind, though Emmy will be trained in a much more limited fashion. Emmy will be told what to find, specifically a car, or a door, and Emmy is going to learn to bring her handler to that object!! Once Emmy's mastered finding a door, we'll build on that skill, until she not only will be able to guide her handler to a door, but outside through several doors. This is a pretty complicated skill, and we're all excited to get in on training for it!

                                                  Here's Emmy practicing a retrieval!

And in some final, more depressing news, our prodigy pup Zorn had to be exited from the program. While he was super smart and loved learning, Zorn didn't quite meet our standards, and so we had to let him go. He's been adopted by his handler Kat (Hi, that's me!) and her family, and is living it up in his new home. Everybody in the club misses him terribly!
Kat and Zorn playing at his new home!


Thankfully, Zorn's client has decided to stick with our program, and to fill in Zorn's shoes,  in Ferbruary we got our newest addition, cutie-pants nugget Nora!!



Nora is a chocolate lab hitting 12 weeks soon, and was, as usual, donated by Christina Clark of Iron Hill Retrievers! Thanks Christina, this feisty pants is going to do great things with us!

Nora working on 'Sit' with handler Kori


Nora is just starting in on her basics, and enjoying life with her foster Kris while she does. 

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                               Trust me, it took a lot longer than what you see here to get her into that position!

We can't wait to see how well this lil girl takes to her life as a service dog!


See you next time guys!


A special thanks to:

QCCAN




The Quad Cities Canine Assistant Network is the non-profit organization that makes our program possible. As sister organizations QCCAN is an integral part of the Viking Pups mission, helping us with training, putting us in contact with clients, and most importantly, training service dogs and reaching more people who need the dogs to live better lives.





A huge thank you to the Huerta Hof family for donating our German Shepherd girl Emmy! Team Huerta Hof breeds gorgeous German Shepherds, and their dogs are found everywhere, from family homes to the Schutzhund field. We're sure Emmy will be a huge success!




Christina Clark, our fabulous breeder and owner of Iron Hill Retrievers. All of our Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers have been donated by Christina and they are all spectacular, with wonderful temperaments and absolutely GREAT looks.

And last but not least: 

Lisa Francescon and Francescon Portraiture!!!



Thanks for taking all of your beautiful pictures, Lisa! They're amazing, and you show off our pups so much better than our grainy phone pictures! You're incredibly talented and deserve every bit of business you get!


To learn more / keep up to date about Viking Pups:

1 comment:

  1. In response to the previous comment, in major, well known organizations, they are lucky if 30% of their dogs actually work out. The dogs may not work out due to joint issues that do not become obvious until they are sexually mature. There are many reasons why a dog may not finish a program. This is one of the reasons why wait lists are so long. Some people wait 5 years for a service dog through Canine Companions & Canine Assistants. While screening puppies helps, it's not always a guarantee. They are doing their best to train dogs worthy of their future handlers. I would rather they tell me that the dog isn't working out, instead of handing me a dog with some sort of issue. I, as some one with a disability, have seen this happen too many times. There are so many "service dog organizations" that "train" dogs for 6 months and give them to people. These dogs aren't trained properly and can't perform any tasks. Yes, I am waiting on a service dog through QCCAN and I will wait until they believe they have the perfect dog for me, that can help me with my needs.

    Patience is a virtue and so is understanding how the system works.

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