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A Look Inside: Puppy Club Meeting

Glenn Hoagland stands with a father and his three daughters with their German shepherd puppy. Above them a sign reads “Lehigh County Seeing Eye Puppy Club”

Seeing Eye President & CEO Glenn Hoagland has been visiting Seeing Eye puppy clubs, getting to know some of our more than 500 volunteer puppy raisers. Puppy raisers support our mission by raising Seeing Eye puppies from 7 weeks of age until they are around 14- to 16-months-old and ready to return to The Seeing Eye for formal training with one of our guide dog mobility instructors. Puppy raisers are responsible for teaching their puppies basic obedience and good manners (both in the home and in the community) all while adhering to the guidelines set forth by The Seeing Eye.

Recently, Glenn visited the Lehigh County Seeing Eye Puppy Club, located in Pennsylvania. Seeing Eye puppy club meetings are supervised by a club leader and a puppy educator, both who are volunteers with extensive experience in The Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Program. The meetings are also frequented by the club’s assigned area coordinator, a staff member assigned to the puppy club and the contact for guidance and assistance with any issues a puppy raiser may encounter with their puppy. During club meetings, puppy raisers and their puppies practice skills such as how to safely enter and exit an elevator, how to enter and exit a vehicle, leash manners and obedience skills. For more information about becoming a puppy raiser, visit seeingeye.org/raise.

Photo Caption (Top Right): Glenn stands with the Rice family and their Seeing Eye puppy, a German shepherd. The puppy is fully-grown and wearing his Seeing Eye puppy vest. Above them, a sign reads: Lehigh County Seeing Eye Puppy Club.

A puppy club meeting in a covered parking garage. Puppies are lined up with their raisers and resting at their sides.

Glenn Hoagland stands off to the side while club members have their puppies practice the 'sit' and 'rest' command. The puppies, representing all ages, and their handlers are sitting in a neat row. Off to the side, a German Shepherd dog is approached for a teeth, ears, and collar examination.

A German shepherd puppy and handler walk past three people positioned throughout the parking garage with umbrellas.

A German shepherd puppy and handler walk past three people positioned throughout the parking garage with umbrellas. This training around common distractions helps prepare the puppy for life as a Seeing Eye dog.