Job training is hard. There are so many new things to learn and so many new people to meet. It can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially if you're a little puppy getting ready for an important role as a service dog.
Though the training is fun at this stage and their oversized vests and harnesses make them look incredibly cute, these dogs are heading for serious business. Some are destined for work in law enforcement or search and rescue. Others will offer assistance to veterans or people with disabilities or special needs.
When they wear their bright yellow vests, Guide Dogs of America puppies are in training to one day help blind and visually impaired people. Training takes a lot of concentration, so good thing there are a lot of breaks.
Gavel the German shepherd puppy lost his job with the Queensland Police Service in Australia because he was too nice during training. He tried his best, but his overly friendly nature got him ousted as a police pup. Instead, he got a new job as Vice Regal Dog for the Queensland governor. With his career change, he's a hit on social media and allowed to be as friendly as he wants.
Puppies that will wear harnesses as adults are trained to wear them from a very early age as puppies. This little guys from Southeastern Guide Dogs wear mock harness from the time they are wee little things. Members of the public get the lucky job of socializing these cute puppies.
Most puppies have a goofy side, but they know when it's time to take things seriously. The pay off during training is usually lots of affection and lots of tasty treats.
When disaster strikes, comfort dogs head to the scene to help everyone from rescue workers to survivors cope with the trauma and loss. For a comfort dog-in-training, sometimes the importance of the job can be overwhelming.
Training isn't all done in a boring environment. Service dogs typically get to go to all sorts of places so they feel comfortable everywhere. And they even get to mingle with other service pups in training. They'll one day be on the job sniffing for bombs and drugs or helping someone navigate the world. But now it's time to learn and play and be a puppy.