Puppy Raiser Dictionary

There is a whole new vocabulary we had to learn raising Sabina. Here are some terms and abbreviations you might find in the blog.

  • AT, Advanced Training: This is when the puppies are back at their regional CCI Campus and their professional training begins. Advanced Training is generally 6-9 months, but can take up to a year as CCI works to find the perfect match for the dog.
  • BC, Breeder Caretaker: A breeder caretaker is a volunteer who provides for the care of a dog in the CCI Breeder program. Breeder Caretakers of male breeders are responsible for making sure the male is delivered to the CCI Santa Rosa campus when “duty calls.” Breeder Caretakers of female breeders also make sure that their dogs go to CCI Santa Rosa when they come into season. Additionally they whelp the puppies in their home and care for them for the first 8 weeks, getting them ready for puppy raisers.
  • CCI: Canine Companions for Independence
  • COC, Change of Career: Not every puppy is suited to life as a working service dog. Should the pup decide that a working life is not for them they are released from the program and are reclassified as a “change of career” dog. Never fear these dogs also always have great homes waiting for them.
  • GRC, Gold Rush Champions: The Gold Rush Champions (GRC) is a volunteer chapter of CCI. The GRC serves the greater Sacramento valley (CA) and Reno, NV. The GRC is comprised of puppy raisers, breeder caretakers, graduate teams, and other CCI supporters and volunteers.
  • FD, Facility Dogs: Facility Dogs are usually paired with a professional partner who works in a school or medical environment. Canine Companion Facility Dogs can also be found working in the law enforcement and court systems assisting individuals with physical, psychological or emotional trauma due as a result of criminal activity. (check out http://www.courthouse dogs.com)
  • Graduate, Graduate Team: In order for someone to receive a service dog they must attend and “graduate” from a two-week team training. This is where the human and dog meet, are matched, and learn to work together. Once team training is completed the teams are referred to as graduates. At this time the pups-in-training shed their yellow puppy cape and are permitted to wear the blue graduate cape.
  • HD, Hearing Dog: Hearing dogs are partnered with people who have hearing loss of varying degrees. A hearing dog will generally alert their partner to a door bell, alarm clock or someone calling their name by some sort of nudge or touch of the arm or leg.
  • HVT, High Value Treat: 95% of training is positive reinforcement – which usually comes by means of a super delicious food treat. Sometimes a little more encouragement is needed. In those cases we use our pup’s favorite treat – or HVT.
  • LGX: Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever cross
  • PIT: Pup-In-Training. Dogs in training are often referred to as “pup” regardless of their age.
  • PR, Puppy Raiser: A puppy raiser is volunteer who receives an 8 week old puppy and provides for it food, vet care and training until it is approximately 18 months old. This includes attending training classes, teaching the pup about 25 commands, and most importantly socializing the pup.
  • SD, Service Dog: When we refer to service dog, generally we are referring to service dogs trained by Canine Companions for Independence. A CCI Service dog is the highest level of training and proficiency a dog can achieve. These dogs are generally, but not always, paired with someone with a mobility disability. These dogs are able to open doors, pick up and retrieve items, and complete other complex tasks.
  • SC, Skilled Companion: A skilled companion is a dog that is trained to work with a child or adult with a disability under the guidance of a team facilitator.
  • TT, Team Training: Once someone has been accepted to receive a service dog, they are invited to attend team training in their geographical region. Team Training is a two-week training session where the graduate will stay on the CCI Campus, meet their dog, and learn to work with their new Canine Companion.
  • Turn-In: There are two types of turn in a) the horrible day when a puppy raiser has to turn the puppy they have been raising back into CCI and b) the day breeder caretakers breath a sigh of relief and gratefully turn in their litter. Actually both days bittersweet. Puppy turn-in is sad because you will miss the puppy you raised, but it is full of hope to see your dog mature and become a graduate. Litter turn-in is a huge relieve because by 8 weeks the puppies are becoming quite a handful, but you worry about them being away from their momma and will be sad to go home to a much emptier home.

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