Howdy, from a new member
So, just found the board. Can't promise I'll be in a ton, but hope that when I am, to learn a bunch.
I'm new to GSD's, having only really admired them from afar. Figuratively from afar, at any rate. Such noble dogs. Gotta love the ears.
Anyway, I'm currently laying the groundwork to get my first GSD puppy. With two dogs (a Cairn Terrier and a Labrador), this should be fun and interesting.
Here's my diabolical plan. I've been a guide dog user now for 18 years, now working my third. Two have been Labs (including the current one), and my first was a Golden. My first two worked roughly 6.5 years each, so if Leno holds to pattern, I've still got about two years and more of active working life from him, as we're coming up on our fourth anniversary.
Make no mistake, I have absolutely no problem with established guide dog training programs, and the Seeing Eye is, in my always humble opinion, the best there is. Two of my three guides came from there. But I plan to raise and train my own guide for #4. Even if I never do it again, I do want to do it at least once. And I want to raise a dog and start in on training while Leno is still working. Formal guide training wouldn't start until well after the first year, 15-18 months, and with no super hurry about it, it wouldn't be done until no *earlier* than two years, and later is all right by me.
Working with dogs this long by no means makes me an expert, and I'm under no such delusions. There will be lots for both me and a new dog to learn. But for me, this is all about the journey, not so much about the destination, important as the destination might be.
So that's pretty much it. Rock throwing shall commence. *LOL*