Okay first I'll say one thing! I do know quite a few guy puppy raisers. Maybe 8 or 9, but there is one teenage guy puppy raiser in my class at CCI!
Most of you probably think of puppy raisers as being female! Actually that's the way I thought for a long time! Sure I think you guys are probably more drawn to cute, cuddly puppies and honestly most of you probably care more about making a difference than a lot of guys! When I applied to be a PR for CCI I felt weird and wondered if I was going to be the only guy puppy raiser in class. Now puppy raising is part of me.
I think that guys do like dogs and a lot of them enjoy dog training as well. I know quite a few guys like that. But somehow I think that girls make up their minds more easily and just say "I want to raise a puppy." I know plenty of other teenage guys who love dogs, love Dembre, and think that it's really cool that I'm raising a service dog. I've had quite a few guys ask to pet Dembre in public, but I've only had girls say things like "Oh, maybe I should do that!" or "That would be really fun!"
I was at puppy class the other night and I saw something beautiful. It was a new puppy raising family with their cute 8 or 9 week old puppy. The whole family was there- husband, wife, young son, and young daughter. The kids were probably only 3 and 5, but they all took turns helping with the puppy and seemed to all know what they needed to do. The dad worked the pup for most of class, but then he traded off with his wife. I can imagine the wife was the one who suggested puppy raising, but her husband was right there learning with everybody else. Perfection! I think with guys a lot of times they don't really want to learn, they just want to know! I have made it a goal to ask questions, learn new things, absorb as much as I can, and read as much as I can. I want to be able to do the best job with my dog so he has the best chance of passing!
I can think of one other hindrance. Emotions can get in the way. Some guys want to be rock hard and stoic. They don't want people to see that they have emotions. I can't say I'm that way. I don't care who sees, I know that I'm going to be crying when I give up Dembre and I know that I'll be crying if he graduates. There are ups and downs of puppy raising! I think it's funny. When you hear that a man is a professional dog trainer that doesn't seem weird at all, but when you hear a guy is a puppy raiser it gives you a different impression.
Someday I hope to see other guys like me taking a step up to serve others and be part of changing lives. I hope that I see it soon!