In the first episode of Pick of the Litter, we are introduced to six dogs that hope to become guide dogs. Will they pass their Final Evaluation Day?
In the first episode of Pick of the Litter, the show begins with Chris Benninger the CEO and President of Guide Dogs for the Blind explaining the process of how dogs become guide dogs.
She stated that training for the dogs begins at three days of age. At eight to ten weeks old they are given to puppy raisers where they will be getting ready for training.
They return for further training and after twelve weeks they will be matched with their person. They spend two weeks training with their person and upon completion of the training, they graduate.
However, not all dogs will become guide dogs and they will have to be career changed.
Some of the reasons for dogs to be career changed include allergies, high distraction, relieving accidents, fearful behavior, low confidence, and inappropriate whining and barking.
In fact: “800 dogs are born at Guide Dogs for the Blind each year. Only 300 make it through the rigorous training to become guides.”
Throughout the episode that runs about thirty minutes, the show provides several facts such as how many dogs are born at Guide Dogs for the Blind every year, and how many puppy raiser families there are in the western United States.
The first episode follows six dogs born at Guide Dogs for the Blind.
- Black Labrador Tartan who is with First-time Puppy Raisers Claudia and Martina.
- Yellow Labrador Tulane who is with First-time Puppy Raiser Sangeeta.
- Black Labrador Pacino who is with Second-time Puppy Raisers Crystal and Kiel.
- Black Labrador Paco who is with Second-time Puppy Raisers Sue and Roger.
- Golden Retriever Amara who is with Fourth-time Puppy Raiser Stacey.
- Black Labrador Raffi who is with Twenty-five Puppy Raiser Marikay. Interestingly enough eleven of her twenty-five dogs became working guides.
Each dog has a very unique and definitive personality. The puppy raisers share their stories and experiences with the dogs who have changed their lives forever.
The episode ends with Final Evaluation Day where “If the dogs pass their final evaluations, they will be recalled to Guide Dogs for the Blind campus and begin their formal training.”
Community Field Rep of Guide Dogs for the Blind, Tami Shankle, and Devin Warner, conduct the final evaluations of the six dogs. They speak with the puppy raisers and ask questions pertaining to each dog.
Questions range from the biggest challenges with the dog to how the dog greets people that come into the house and how they handle being home alone.
Each puppy raiser takes their dog on the leash and they begin walking while Tami and Devin observe how the dogs handle situations like traffic, other dogs, stepping over grates, and going up and downstairs.
At the end of the evaluation, all of the dogs pass except Paco who has a relieving accident. The episode ends with the audience unsure if Paco will pass or fail.
What did you think of Pick of the Litter Episode 1? Leave your answers in the comment section below! I’d love to read them!