At Service Dog Project, the training involves minimal use of human muscles—since these pups were 3 weeks old they have had their treats delivered by spoon. This works better than a leash as they learn to stay focused on their “person”, just as Zeke is doing in this photo. His first challenge was the crowd. The second was crossing that puddle. He will be encouraged to trust his human, Megan. Picking him up because it is more convenient is frowned upon in the SDP world.
The crowd in the background are referred to as camera people (CP’s) who have watched the nursery and puppy hill cameras since the birth of these pups. The CP’s gather for a weekend in September – called Dog Fest – to experience first hand the raising / training of the dogs they have watched on explore.org cameras 24/7.
Dog Fest also provides CP’s the opportunity to meet and greet friends from all over the world that they have only known online.
– Carlene White, founder of Service Dog Project in Ipswich, MA. The organization trains and places Great Danes with people who live with Multiple Sclerosis, Friedreich’s ataxia, and veterans with disabilities.