Episode 16 – Breeding & Caring For The Puppies That Become Working Dogs

How many loads of laundry does it take to raise a puppy? Who takes care of the pregnant dogs? How are the dogs paired for breeding? Colleen & Jim are joined by Breeder Caretaker Wendy Clock Johnson from Canine Companions for Independence to answer all our puppy breeding and raising questions. They also discuss why this process is so important for successful working dogs. 

Episode Highlights 

1:00 – Meet Wendy Clock Johnson the Breeder Caretaker for Canine Companions For Independence 

3:30 – How Wendy becoming a breeder caretaker 

5:30 – The process for breeding and and length of service

7:30 – What happens if a breeder caretaker needs help 

9:30 – The challenges of socializing dogs right now

12:15 – All the loads of laundry to do!

14:45 – From pregnancy, to whelping boxes 

19:30 – Maximum puppy cuteness, Jim shares the science

23:15 – Pairing the dogs for breeding

26:30 – Seeing characteristics passed from parent to puppy

27:45 – Recognizing the skills generationally 

30:15 – Wendy shares a few examples she’s seen 

31:30 – Why purposeful breeding is useful

34:00 – Mission critical tasks we rely on dogs for

36:30 – History, hit rate, and choosing the environments

39:00 – Milestones the breeder caretaker manages 

40:30 – An unexpected conditioning moment 

42:45 – When puppies are ready to go to the puppy raiser

44:30 – Delivering the puppies to the raiser & when they return 

48:00 – Wendy’s experiences working in these programs

49:00 – The types of working dogs that Canine Companions for Independence raises

52:10 – Identifying the characteristics to put the dog in the right working environment

54:30 – Collen reflects on the observed actions dogs pick up

56:00 – Frannie’s personality that Jim enjoys

58:00 – Blake asks for dessert

59:30 – Sabina & Mara at home with Wendy

1:02:30 – The social media puppy raisers have created 

1:04:00 – When public has been surprised by these dogs

1:06:00 – The moments that make this work great

1:10:00 – Where dogs go to when they are not able to be placed as working dogs

1:13:00 – A special community built around raising these dogs

1:14:30 – What happens when Sabina & Mara retire

1:17:00 – Roles of the dogs after they are retired


Links To References

Canine Companions for Independence 

Assistance Dogs Of The West – Facebook 

PADS – Pacific Assistance Dogs Society

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