Some dogs here on campus are like students, training for their future careers.
Whitney Chandler is a senior at MSU and Vice President of Leader Dog Club (LDC).
“I’m currently raising Finn, he’s six months, he’s a black lab,” she said.
Finn is no ordinary puppy. When he’s older he will lead the blind.
Alexandria Hager, President of LDC, said there are two main goals of the club: to recruit puppy raisers and to support the puppy raisers.
This fairly-new club has 25 current members, five whom are currently raising puppies. These dogs will spend the first year of their life being trained to change a life.
“For someone who’s visually impaired and can’t necessarily see the world, it’s really comforting to have something like this next to them,” Hager said.
These dogs cannot be distracted, so they must learn commands early on.
Hager says the basic commands being taught are sit, stay, lie down and touch.
Any student can be involved in LDC.
“We have events going on so you can get involved,” Hager said. “We can also put you on the list for the puppy sitting schedule so, if a raiser needs a puppy sitter, you might be the one they call.”
Once the puppies reach the age of one they will be sent to the Leader Dog Facility in Rochester, Michigan. There, they will undergo tests to see if they’re prepared to be eyes for the blind.