Virginia Tech’s Puppy University Helps Train Future Service Dogs

A young Golden Retriever gets pet on the head by his trainer.

(Picture Credit: NBC WSLS10)

Three young pups are finishing up their first semester at Puppy University. What’s Puppy University? It’s a program through Virginia Tech in partnership with Saint Francis Service Dogs that trains budding puppies to become full-fledged, disciplined service dogs. Tucker, Koda, and Esme are the newest pups to make it through semester one.

Three puppies in training lie on the floor.

(Picture Credit: NBC WSLS 10)

Veterinary students who just can’t get enough pups in their lives take time out of their busy schedules to help train these future doggy assistants. The work study training program is a bit more intense at Virginia Tech than the traditional training at Saint Francis. Tucker, Koda, and Esme spend all day training with students.

The university atmosphere provides plenty of distractions that help train the pups to stay focused, even in chaotic circumstances. And the biggest advantage the pups have at Puppy University is the chance for socialization. They meet plenty of new people and encounter new situations on a daily basis, which helps them to prepare for their duties in the future. They’ll graduate in about a year and follow that with advanced training for another year before they get placed with a partner who needs them, free of charge. Sounds like these pups will have their diplomas before you know it!

Would you take time out of your busy schedule to train service puppies? Would you like to see more programs like Puppy University? Let us know in the comments below!

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