Puppy Prep • The Puppies Have Their Final Test

– [Narrator] It's been two
weeks since we last visited the service dogs in
training of Doggy Do Good, which means it's been two
weeks since I've seen Kaya, which means we're going to
look at her for a second. Man, she's the best. But today's not Kaya's big day. It's Demian's. Today is his final exam. If he passes, Demian will go
to his forever family tomorrow. If he flunks the test, however, it could mean months
before Demian is ready or the family may need to
find a different service dog. Good luck, buddy. This is what you puppy prepped for. (upbeat music) For Demian's final exam, the trainers at Doggy Do Good have chosen a local mall.

(playful music) With slick floors, steep stairs and distractions aplenty,
only the truly ready pups can get through all of
their drills without issue. Before going inside, it's time for some warm up drills
by the parking garage. Places you and I wouldn't
think twice about are sometimes perfect
places to test the pups. For instance, this grate. Unfamiliar surfaces like
these can distract a dog, seemingly without explanation. Grates can also be the source of confusing smells and sounds, further throwing a dog off it's game. First up, Luke. The eight month old golden has
been a model student so far. A simple steel grate won't bother… Oh. How 'bout that? His tail wags but Luke can't
wait to get off the metal.

You can see his hesitation
as he continues to cross. The sound and moving surface confuses him. We may think it's a silly fear but it's a good reminder
that Luke is still a puppy. Karen makes the golden pause on the grate and feeds him treats. Hopefully, this will get him to fear the grate a little less. After a few more back and forths, Luke gets more comfortable. This is good. At this stage, Luke just
needs to show progress towards overcoming his fears, even for something as small as a grate. With Luke scared of the grate, it could mean his sister, Kaya, inherited a similar fear.

Nope. The eight month old crosses the metal with grace and poise. Well done, Kaya. Way to show your brother what's what. Next, it's time for Luke
and Kaya's half sister, Remmy, to cross the grate. The trainers are curious
to see if she'll be brave, like her sister, or
scared, like her brother. With that stutter step,
it looks like Remmy is the exact average of her siblings, not as frightened as Luke, but definitely more cautious than Kaya. Still, she's more curious than scared, a good sign for the eight month old. With the goldens done,
it's Benelli's turn. Only two weeks ago, the six month old completely shut down at the bus station. If she has a similar
reaction to the grate, it could spell disaster
for the lab's chances of staying in school. But Benelli handles the
grate like a champion. She stands still and even
keeps her tail wagging when Paul tries to distract her.

The puppy's made huge
strides in her courage the last two weeks, exactly what the trainers needed from her. The other puppy with bravery issues is our man about town, Mr. Pip. Though he hesitates, the Yorkshire terrier has little say in the matter. When a trainer can pick
you up and move you wherever she sees fit, you're gonna have to face your demons. Mr. Pip is presented with a dilemma, satisfy his unshakable craving for treats or flee like a coward. Again, Karen makes his decision for him. Good enough, Mr. Pip, your
strengths lie elsewhere and that's just fine. Finally, it's Demian's turn. Even with a pack in his mouth, this is more of a
formality than a real test, Like a senior taking an introductory class that he forgot he needed. The yellow lab doesn't disappoint. Demian knows he has to
deliver and he does just that. His real test awaits him inside the mall. Noises. People. Food. Deals, deals, deals. The dogs need to overcome
all these distractions and more inside the mall.

The pups go into down-stay
at the food court and while Luke naps, Benelli begins the mall obstacle course. The first challenge, the stairs. This mall has very
slippery, very steep stairs. Already the floppiest puppy,
Benelli immediately has issues but with her tail wagging,
she's a good sport. Benelli has to resist her natural urge to sprint up the stairs. A heel is a heel even with
uneven, slippery footing. That's it, Benelli, almost there. Oh, okay, good, good. Good girl. She's just so floppy. Now upstairs, Benelli
practices her get it command. Even with the lights and
sounds of the arcade, Benelli keeps checking
in with her trainer. This shows great progress
in Benelli's focus. As Benelli returns to the food court, it's Kaya's turn around the mall.

I challenge you to find me
a more perfect dog anywhere. It simply can't be done. Even amongst the charms of the arcade, our girl can't be fazed. Kaya is even comfortable lying
down inside a video game. On her way back downstairs,
Kaya is patient and attentive, exactly what her trainers are looking for. As Luke drifts in and out of sleep, he wonders if it's his turn. Nope. Mr. Pip's up. Back to sleep. The stairs that Benelli struggled with are a piece of cake for
the undeniable Mr. Pip. He scales them like a mountain
climber summits a peak. In the arcade, Mr. Pip
practices his comfort drills. He'll be going to a family with children and if they call upon him
amongst the lights and sounds of an amusement hall,
he'll have to perform.

pexels photo 6568483

Before leaving the arcade, Mr. Pip obliges a quick photo request in the comforts of the motor coach ride. Like any brave mountaineer
who conquers a pinnacle, what goes pup must come down. Imagine if stairs were as big as you are. Our brave Mr. Pip doesn't have to. He's step-sized and he handles
the challenge with a plum. In the arcade, Luke works on some drills but it appears some of the distractions might be a bit too much for
the eight month old golden.

When trainer Karen puts
the pup in a down-stay to familiarize him with
the stimuli, Luke rebels. Luke's future owners need him to be all right in a down-stay anywhere so if he can't become
comfortable in this arcade, it could mean a big problem
for his training progress. Luke breaks another down-stay. Eventually, with Karen
in constant eyesight, Luke is all right. After the confinement of the down-stay, the golden retriever's more than happy to practice his pressure therapy. Luke returns to the food court. It's been an uncharacteristically
shaky day for the golden. Like people, service dogs
have good days and bad. At the end of their training, the hope will be to have as
few days like this as possible. One dog who's had some
bad days lately is Remmy. It appears, however, she's
made great improvement the last few weeks. She's checking in with trainer Paul and doing well in her heel. Even in the arcade, the eight month old is attentive and focused,
not at all like she was at the beach a few weeks ago. And like her half sister, Kaya, Remmy is prepared to work inside
of the video game console, giving Paul hugs amongst
the frightening zombies.

On the stairs, Remmy shows patience that was totally absent a week ago. She's maturing, a wonderful
sign for her schooling. Demian's been training years for this. If he passes, tomorrow morning, he and trainer Paul will set
off to his forever family. If he fails, it doesn't look good for Demian's continued enrollment. – All right, Demian, let's go. – [Narrator] Demian's
classmates wish him luck as he sets off. First challenge, the stairs. While the younger puppies
could slip around, Demian's future owners will depend on him being steady whenever called upon. Tolerance for sliding is almost nill. Making it even more difficult, Paul applies periodic
pressure to Demian's harness, ensuring the lab is ready to
accept his owner's weight.

Still, Demian is able to
match Paul's pace perfectly, even when it gets awkward
for the pup's footing. Step by step, Demian proves his patience and dependability on the stairs. The first part of his test is over and so far, so good. What's this? A pop quiz? In the middle of an exam? Paul's dropped his wallet but Demian retrieves it with no problem. Now Demian will have to
carry the trainer's pack. Though he did well with
this earlier in the day, consistency is the key to graduation and our guy is steady. Back at down-stay, the
puppies wait nervously, rooting for their friend's success. It's all right, Mr. Pip, so
far, Demian's doing great. A quick trip through the arcade
was no problem for Demian so it's on to the next
challenge, stability. Paul gives Demian the command, steady, then uses the dog to help him sit down.

With his tail wagging, it's clear to see Demian's happy to
work, another great signal. Paul uses Demian to help stand,
just as a child runs past. Demian maintains his focus,
the exact reaction he needs were the same to happen
with his forever family. Paul makes a minor adjustment
to Demian's position but appears happy with
the dog's performance. A second stability test is
meant to see Demian's transition from a down-stay and he
handles it flawlessly. Now, a new challenge just for Demian, women's clothing. With pack in mouth, Demian
has to show patience and focus amongst the
new smells and sights and it's no problem for the yellow lab. In a simple heel, Demian moves confidently and checks in with his handler, the model of a great service dog. He's in the home stretch but
there's one challenge left, going down the stairs. Providing stability,
while facing downstairs, is the toughest thing Demian
will be called upon to do. He has to show patience,
poise, focus and strength, all while resisting his natural urge to bolt down to even footing.

The slow pace is grueling
but when trainer Paul sees Demian wait patiently
on even the last step, it appears he's nailed it. Not even Paul can contain
his excitement for the pup. While Demian turned in
a virtuoso performance on his exam, the trainers
still have to discuss if, after two years and a name change, he's finally ready to graduate. (dog barking) Back at Doggy Do Good,
Demian's classmates wait to hear his fate. The tension is palpable. Then, they see him. He's done it. Presenting the newest
graduate from Doggy Do Good, Demian, the two year old yellow lab.

Tomorrow, he and Paul will set off to meet the lab's forever family. Just as Demian was trained to help people, now his family will have to
trained in handling Demian. The process can take anywhere
from one to three weeks but Paul will be there
to help the whole time. It's been a long two years of training and Demian is rightly excited. He takes a well deserved victory lap as his classmates look on. Their schooling has just begun but if they keep up the progress they've shown this last month, maintain focus and stop
eating so much grass, like the newest alum, Demian, they too will soon graduate Puppy Prep. (upbeat music) (gentle music).

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