Training Pupdates

Training Pupdate

8-month old Camden has been experiencing fun and exciting things!  She went to another Baltimore Orioles game, where she carried the ball for the 1st pitch out to the pitcher’s mound.  The next day, she went to the US Capital in Washington, DC where she helped America’s VetDogs thank some Congressional members for supporting the Wounded Warrior Service Dog Act.  She enjoyed both of these events in the company of her brother, TODAY Show Puppy with a Purpose, Sunny and his puppy raiser, Olivia.

During many of our outings, we take advantage of having access to a different types of public transportation.  It’s important Camden is comfortable in any situation.  In the video, you see Camden walking along the DC Metro platform quite comfortably as a train is approaching.  She has had about 6 months of exposure to the metro.  We started off very slow and now she’s confident is any situation involving the trains.  In addition to trains, she has also been on planes, taxi’s, boats and busses.   

Cam and Sunny visit Camden Yards

Pupdate 9-19-18

Camden returns from vacation

Seven month old Camden, me and my family recently took some vacation time off.  She enjoyed a 12-day road trip to Maine and upstate New York.  Camden was a very relaxed traveler and loved all of our many adventures.  She traveled and camped in our motor home, rode on a boat, swam, hiked and went on a lot of exploration walks.  One of the main things I tried to focus on was allowing her to simply explore new and different things while we were away.  In the attached videos we were on a hike on the northeastern coast of Maine.  I allowed her to do a lot of exploring on the hike.  She still listened very well, but also got to explore and do things that helped to enhance her confidence (not that she’s lacking in confidence).  
 

Pupdate 8-15-18

Pupdate 8-8-18

Bark at the Park 7-25-18

WBAL-TV Puppy Camden delivered the first pitch ball to the pitcher's mound and America's VetDogs' President & CEO John Miller threw out the first pitch! NBC 10 Boston pup Brady was there for cheer on his sister during her big moment.



Training Pupdate 7-12-18

6 month old Camden sure is maturing into a wonderful dog.  Her obedience and house manners are great.  In addition, she’s up for any outing we go on.  The summer heat is tough for her sometimes (as it is pretty much any dog), so we stay indoors as much as possible on the really hot days.  She also enjoys playing on her puppy pool in my back yard.  
Camden down.
One of the obedience cues I’ve been working on improving is the ‘down’.  She does very well and lays ‘down’ when I tell her, but now we’re working on the direction I want her to face when she lays down.  The picture shows Camden laying in 2 different directions; 1 with her feet toward me and 1 with her feet away from me.  The ideal way I want her to lay is with her feet pointed away from me.  If Camden’s future handler happens to be someone who is in a wheelchair, it would be best if her feet were pointed away from the wheelchair when she lays down so her toes don’t accidently get run over by the wheelchair.  Of course, her handler would always do their best to check for her feet before moving or readjusting the wheelchair, but this would just make it easier on both Camden and her handler.  How have we been working on this?  When I tell her to ‘down’, if she lays in the less-desired position I just tell her good girl.  However, if she lays in the desired position (feet pointing away from me), she gets lots and lots of kibble.  She’s catching on very fast!!! 
 

Pupdate 7-11-18

Pupdate 7-2-18

Training Pupdate 6-27-18

Camden will turn 6 months old in less than 1 week.  It’s hard to believe!!!  She is doing very well with all of her training.  Walking by distractions without trying to sniff them, eat them or play with them is tough for most 5 month old puppies.  In the video, I am working on ignoring distractions with Camden.  You may not be able to see all the distractions, but I used a slice of bread, a fuzzy boot, a stuffed animal, kids and another dog (Smudge).  Camden walked by them just beautifully.  She knew she had to ignore the distractions in order to earn a piece of kibble.  In this video, I only gave her the food after she completed the entire exercise.  However, when I started Camden’s training with distractions, I would give her a piece of kibble for each thing she walked by.  Over time, we have worked up to her being able to walk by many distractions before earning her reward.  Ignoring distractions is a very important part of becoming a service dog.  
 

Pupdate 6-22-18

Pupdate 6-20-18

Training Pupdate 6-14-18

Camden is growing into a beautiful future service dog.  She continues to go on many outings every week.  She was fortunate enough to meet Al Roker from the TODAY Show too.  

In addition to her outings, she also attends puppy classes with the other pups in the VA/MD/DC puppy raising group.  These classes are extremely beneficial for her and the other pups.  They learn obedience, self-control, loose leash walking, how to work nicely around other puppies/dogs, and so much more.  In the video, you can see Camden and 7 other pups of various ages remaining nicely in a ‘stay’ while a ball and tossed in front of them.  This is very difficult for many dogs, but Camden and the others did an amazing job!!  Note that Camden is also laying and staying nicely by herself (without Deana holding her leash or being by her side).  Way to go everyone in this amazing group!!!!

Training Pupdate 6-4-18

Camden will be 5 months old on June 2nd and she is doing so well that I sometimes have to remind myself that she’s not even 5 months old yet.
Camden inside the fort.
We have stayed busy with many social outings.  We attended the 143rd Preakness horse race with WBAL-TV.  It was a very wet and muddy day, but Camden handled all of that like a champ.  I feared she would get too excited and jump with muddy paws on someone, but instead she was so, so good.  She met countless Camden fans while there; I was surprised at how many people quickly recognized her.  She also got to meet the Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor, Catherine Pugh.  She did very well with watching and hearing the running horses. 

I try to get Camden out to visit new and different areas when we are up there.  Last week, we checked out Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.  We weren’t there 15 minutes and Camden was recognized by multiple WBAL-TV and TODAY Show viewers.  We walked all over the grounds, exploring the waterfront, uneven surfaces, very tall grass, and hundreds of people.  During these outings, we practice loose leash walking, ignoring distractions (sights, sounds and smells) and polite greetings.  Camden did well working on all those skills.  I would say the hardest thing for her was ignoring (not eating) the tall grass that was at mouth level.  I mention that, but she did very, very well for a 4+ month old puppy.  

I am very proud of this girl and look forward to more and more adventures with her! 
 

Camden Pupdate 5-30-18

Camden visit Univ. of Maryland

Camden visits the Preakness

Camden Pupdate 5-23-18

Camden pupdate 5-15-18

4 1/2 month old Camden has been rocking it!  She continues to rise to all the situations we come across.  One recent fun thing she did was visit adult and baby farm animals at Frying Pan Park Farm in Virginia.  She was nose-to-nose with a sheep and a baby goat and really liked a cute calf.  Other than a tiny peck on the nose from a chicken, she loved being at the farm.  

I have slowly increased the amount of traffic exposure with Camden.  Starting slow is important so young puppies don’t get overwhelmed.  I began with walks in my very quiet suburban neighborhood.  Once I knew she was confident with that traffic, I slowly introduced her to larger volumes of traffic and traffic that was moving at a little faster speed.  In the video, we were at a busy intersection where there was lot of traffic, but the traffic wasn’t moving very fast because of the 4-way intersection with a traffic light.  There was also a semi-truck that was parked and running near us.  She handled it all very well.  The main thing I had to work on a couple times was getting her to walk by the crazy-tall weeds along the sidewalk without trying to eat them!!  That girl loves to keep me on my toes!!  In saying that, this sidewalk area had a lot of litter and she never once tried to pick up any of it.  Way to go Camden!!!
 

Camden segment pupdate 5-8-18

Camden works on "head in" 5-2-18

Camden pupdate 5-2-18

Camden has had some fun adventures since our last update, to include a hike to some beautiful waterfalls and a day trip to Washington, DC.  All of her outings are taken with the purpose of exposing her in a fun and exciting way to all sorts of the worlds things.  She has taken on these outings like a real champ!

This video was taken in Washington, DC, where there are grates of all shapes and sizes throughout the city.  Walking on grates is something we practice whenever we find one that is the appropriate size for Camden’s cute little feet.  I don’t have her walk on grates that will hurt her feet or ones where her feet might fall through.  She tackled this grate like an experienced service dog would.  Even though she is really good at walking on grates, I continue to give her lots of kibble and praise.  My goal is to keep her confidently walking on any grate she can safely navigate.  
 

Camden pupdate 4-25-18

Camden training pupdate 4-19-18

Camden and my family all said ‘see you later’ to our beautiful Smudge (future guide dog with our sister organization, the Guide Dog Foundation) this week.   Many people worried that it would be a tough transition for Camden.  I am happy to say that she hasn’t missed a beat and is doing very well with Smudge being gone. 

As usual, Camden has been a busy girl.  In the last couple weeks, we have visited a few schools and have more visits on the books.  The kids are always so excited to see her.   Even with all that excitement, she does a great job of mostly focusing on me instead of the exuberant kids. That brings me to my focus this week—being petted and distracted in public. Camden is incredibly cute, which means a lot of people in public really want to pet her.  When being pet, I want her to sit politely and focus on me.  I don’t want her to jump on, put her sharp teeth on or otherwise be impolite with her greeter.   In order to do this, we practice her getting lots of kibble when is being petted—as long as she focuses on me and is being polite.  We do this because, as a working service dog her job will be to keep her veteran safe.  If she is distracted by the public, her attention could be diverted from her veteran, which could be unsafe for them.  Camden is doing extremely well with this important skill. In the video, you’ll see that she ignores the attention seeking child and even ignores a squeaking toy.  This puppy is amazing!

Camden pupdate 4-16-18

Camden pupdates 4-11-18


Camden Pupdate 4-10-18

Camden Pupdate 4-4-18

Camden at the deli counter.Camden has been a busy girl the last couple weeks.  We went to a mall in Baltimore where she was recognized many times.  It was fun to see the Baltimore community so excited to see her!  She also joined WBAL-TV for their morning news cast which aired from Camden Yards the morning of the Baltimore Orioles opening home game (which they later won!).  She had a blast playing with The Oriole Bird!  Lastly, she went on a road trip to Syracuse, NY for a few days to visit family.  She traveled like a seasoned pro!  She had a fun meeting many family members for the first time.  

Camden in front of the meat section.We’ve been working on a few different new topics.  Up in NY I bought a special rug to use as her “place”.  She picked up on that fun training topic very fast.  After less than a minute, she figured out that every time she had her feet on that rug, she would get a piece of food.  She’s continuing to progress nicely with this.  Another thing we’ve been working on is outings involving lots of strong smells.  As you can imagine, this can be very distracting to a pup’s powerful nose.  In the pictures, we went to Whole foods, where she got to smell the meat and seafood counters, the bakery and the deli.  With each section we visited, she was more and more focused on me and less on the smells, which is exactly what I want to see.  

She continues to be a bold, funny and energetic puppy who keeps me on my toes.  
 

Camden and Deana pupdate 4-5-18

Camden visits a local school

Camden and Deana Pupdate 3-28-18

Camden celebrates National Puppy Day 3-23-18

Pupdate with Camden 3-21-18

Future service dog Camden has been a shining star over the past couple weeks.  She attended a few puppy classes with our sister organization’s (Guide Dog Foundation) local puppy raiser group.  Most of these classes have been at malls where she got to ride on glass elevators, climb all sorts of stairs, and look at moving escalators.  These classes are an important way for her to learn to focus on me when there are other future assistance dogs near her.  My main focus has been eye contact with loose leash walking, which she is doing beautifully.  Of course, this can be a little more challenging with other pups nearby, but she is improving nicely with each class she attends. 

She is a ‘stair master’ too.  She enjoys going up and down as many stairs as we can fine.  We have started working on the ‘leave it’ cue.  When I ask Camden to ‘leave it’, I am asking her to leave an item alone and to look at me instead.  She has been happily learning to leave many items alone in my home and knows that when she does, she gets a treat.  This girl is a fast learner! 

Camden Wednesdays at WBALTV are one of the highlights of our week.  Camden is loved by all who have met her at the WBALTV studio.  We’re looking forward to the coming warm weather so we can get out and about to explore the Baltimore community too.  

Pupdate with Camden and Deana 3-16-18

Catching up with Camden and Deana 3-8-18

The first couple of weeks with Camden has been a whirlwind experience unlike what I could have imagined!  Being afforded the opportunity to be at NBC's TODAY Show and on the Megyn Kelly show was exciting Camden sitting in a tiny Adirondack chair at the local LL bean.and something I never thought I would do.  Taking Camden to the WBAL-TV studio a few times now has been nothing short of a welcoming and positive experience for both her and I.  The enthusiasm of the station anchors and other staff is contagious!  

From the moment I received Camden on Feb 26th, she has amazed me.  This little bundle of energy has handled every situation with a lovely level of confidence.  From bouncing into the WBAL-TV studio, to rolling around on the ground with the Baltimore Ravens mascot, to making a visit to local businesses, Camden gives it her all!  Be sure to check back for future updates. Also, keep up with daily activities on our Instagram page. 

Camden in the snow 3-8-18

Wknd editorial about VetDogs 3-4-18

WBAL-TV puppy name revealed 2-28-18

Name teaser 2-28-18

Check in with the class of 2018 3-1-18

Charlie and Stacy visit TODAY 2-28-18

Name reveal for TODAY puppy 2-27-18

Class of 2019 visits Megyn Kelly

Announcement of Class of 2019 2-26-18

Meet Camden

Hi everyone!  I'm CAMDEN, the new puppy at WBAL-TV NBC Baltimore.  I’m representing the great city of Baltimore with my puppy raiser Deana.  I know I’m in good hands – she was puppy raising Smudge, Black lab pup Camden sitting with a service dog vest.who’s an Internet star thanks to The Dodo.  I can’t wait for us to start working together.  I’m going to be a service dog when I grow up and one day will help a veteran with disabilities live without boundaries.  There’s so much to see and do in Baltimore – I’m getting my “walking paws” ready.  If you see us out and about, please stop by to say hello!  Be sure to watch us every week on WBAL-TV and give me a follow on my Instagram account

Birthday: January 2, 2018
Mom: Muffin (Yellow Labrador Retriever)
Dad: Pancho (Black Labrador Retriever)
Siblings: Seven brothers and sisters (5 yellow male, 1 black male, 1 black female)
This little lady has a spunky personality and is very curious.

Meet Deana Stone

Deana Stone grew up moving around the United States every couple of years, depending on where the Coast Guard stationed her family.  After graduating high school in Gig Harbor, Washington, she. joined the Air Force and served for 20 years. During her first 12 years, she worked as a military working dog handler and trainer, and spent the last eight years of her commitment as a Deana with the black Lab Baltimore pup.paralegal.  Deana met her husband Jim while in service; the couple was married in 1993.  Jim and Deana have a 12-year old-daughter, Leah.  

After Jim Stone retired from the Air Force, the family settled in Burke, Virginia.  Soon after, Deana met a Guide Dog Foundation puppy raiser, and she knew that she wanted to get involved with puppy raising.  In addition to raising puppies for the Foundation, Deana was also tapped to be a group leader and area coordinator, helping to oversee and support the National Capital Region puppy raising group.  In October 2017, Deana became a Guide Dog Foundation employee as a puppy program representative for the Washington, DC, area. She continues to volunteer as a puppy raiser.  

In August 2017, Deana began raising future guide dog Smudge, a popular star on the social media platform The Dodo. Deana and Smudge create monthly live videos about puppy raising and training for The Dodo and the Guide Dog Foundation. 

Deana volunteered to be the puppy raiser for the upcoming NBC Class of 2019 “puppy with a purpose” program. She appreciates the opportunity to share her love of puppy raising and helping others. 

Get your Puppy with a Purpose



Photo of a black and yellow plush Lab toy with an AVD vest.