Hey there! Raiser Erin here! I've been asked to write down what the phases entail so that those who are reading who aren't puppy raisers know what Freya and all the other dogs are doing up in San Rafael. This might take a while, so I'll try to condense the phases.
Phase 1: Approximately Week 0.
Before the dog's formal training begins he/she is introduced to the Guide Dogs kennels, walk around campus, and the training program. The first step in the "transitional" period for each dog is recieving a medical exam which is performed by a Canine Welfare Technician (CWT). The CWT checks the dog thoroughly from head to tail. Any abnormalties are reported to Guide Dog veternarians. Within the first week the dog will have each of their hips x-rayed, all abnormalities noted by the CWT checked, an eye exam, and gets weighed. They also get vaccinated for many normal dog things such as distemper, hepatitis, parvo, parainfluenza, bordatella, and rabies.
After all of the exams some dogs will be put on "breeder watch" and those dogs who are still intact and not chosen to be watched for the breeder colony will be spayed or neutered.
After all the physical stuff is done each dog is formally assigned to a string and a specific training kennel. In San Rafael a string is between 35-55 dogs and in Boring, Oregon it is between 20-25 dogs.
Before obedience training starts each dogs personality and controlability is evaluated to prepare the instructors on how to motivate and control each individual dog.
The dogs recieve walks on campus, dailing grooming, any medication needed, and human and dog interative play sessions. At this point dogs are also being matched with kennel mates to make sure that each dog is happy. They are also introduced into the community run with play sessions and are provided kennel enrichment sessions (there is a long explaination as to what kennel enrichment is, if you have any questions please ask).
Each new dog is monitored and if the dog needs anything more (walks, kennel enrichment, community run play sessions, ect.)
Wow! That took longer than I thought. I think I'm going to post these in different posts.