To most of us, "puppy camp" is a new concept. We may have heard the phrase, but we really don't know what it means. Here are the main features that make up puppy camp (as described in the puppy manual):
- the puppy stays with another raiser, usually but not necessarily from your group
- you may or may not get a puppy in return
- the camping period usually lasts from 2 to 4 weeks
- arrangements are made by your AC
- puppy camp is mandatory for all puppies at least once during the raising period, and it's possible a puppy could be in puppy camp up to 4 times
- puppies must be at least 6 months old
- the raiser camping the puppy fills out an evaluation when it is over, to be turned in to the AC.
Puppy camp is a chance for the puppy to experience life with a different handler in a different environment. Sometimes puppy camp can also be a way to assess a puppy with possible behavioral or medical issues, but all puppies should go through puppy camp at least once. While it's OK to ask the person with your puppy for updates, you should not pester them or attempt to see your puppy during the camping period. If a meeting falls during that time, you may greet your puppy briefly at the meeting but should ignore it thereafter.
Puppy camp is tentatively scheduled to occur in our group in October. I will have more to say about this as plans are firmed up.
"Puppy sitting" is a whole 'nother kettle o' fish. Here's a brief outline of puppy sitting:
- the puppy stays with an approved sitter, usually a current or past raiser; exceptions must be approved by your AC
- the time away can be less than a day to a week or more
- the puppy raiser is responsible for making the arrangements (which in our group you may do through Larry or direct contact with the sitter) and must inform the AC of any arrangements made
- a puppy sitting experience is not mandatory, but it can be good for the puppy to spend time in other living environments beyond what is offered via puppy camp
- there is no age limit on puppy sitting
- no evaluation needs to be filled out after puppy sitting.
It is possible that your AC may require a different sitter for a pup if the original sitter is not considered a good match for the puppy. If you need help finding a sitter outside of our approved sitters in Pinellas County, please contact me; raisers should not be contacting ACs of other groups directly for help finding a sitter. Please note that boarding your puppy at SEGD is generally not an option.