A pup’s tail – becoming a Smart Pup

Hi, my name is Zeus.  My brother, Zane, and I are the first ever Labradoodles to train at Borallon Training and Correctional Centre.  When we grow up, we’re going to be Smart Pups, and help kids with special needs.

We are cute as and got to meet everyone on May 7, when we officially began our training with prisoners at Borallon.

Zeus beginning training at Borallon Training and Correctional Centre.

I am a little nervous though, being the fourth group of pups to spend time at the jail, I have some big paw prints to fill.

You see, my job is going to be pretty important.  I am going to learn all sorts of cool stuff so when it is my turn to graduate I will be able to go and help a child with special needs to make their life and the life of their family a little easier.

Along the way, my prisoner handlers and I will learn lots of things together. Research shows that programs involving dog training help prisoners do better in prison, and make them less likely to reoffend when they are released back into the community.

So even though I’m not a qualified assistance dog yet, you could say I am already helping out in a volunteer capacity.

May 7 was a pretty big day at Borallon.

Not only did Zane and I arrive, but we got to meet our two class mates, black Labrador pups, Vadar and Velvet (brother and sister).

The new Smart Pups class with officers from Borallon Training and Correctional Centre.

I’m sure we’ll be friends, but they won’t be anywhere near as cute and cuddly as me, that’s for sure!  The really cool bit though is that we were all born on the same date so we are brothers and sister from another mother.

We arrived at Borallon Training and Correctional Centre just in time for the second Smart Pups graduation.  Black Labradors Nacho, Ninja, Nellie and Nixie have moved on to their advanced training with the Smart Pups trainers.

I’ve heard the prisoners have already taught them lots of cool tricks they need to know as assistance dogs and I can’t wait to see some of the stuff they have learnt; I think it is going to be pawsome.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I might just go and have a pup nap and catch you at the end of next month to tell you about what we have learned in prison.

Zeus after a busy day.