Exclusive Q & A with Pip’s Puppy Raiser

woman kneels with yellow goldador on a sidewalk

Christie poses with Pip on the Southeastern Guide Dogs campus

We have two big reasons to celebrate! Our real-life puppy, Pip, turned 8 months old on May 10, and the animated Pip film has received nearly 200 million combined worldwide views. Pip the film is also the recipient of several national and local awards!

Puppy Pip is learning so much and growing every day. Helping to guide Pip on her journey is puppy raiser and certified guide dog trainer, Christie Bane, and she happily offers an exclusive update on Pip’s progress in our Q & A below.

Pip lays on the lanai with Christie’s cat, McP.

What is Pip’s favorite command?
“Heel.” She loves moving herself into heel position!

What is Pip learning currently?
She knows her basic commands. She’s now working on learning to be patient and sustaining professional guide dog behavior out in public for longer periods of time, and also working on responding consistently to commands given by unfamiliar handlers.

What has Pip learned so far?
All of her obedience commands (Sit, Down, Stand, Stay, Heel, Let’s Go, Come), “Harness On” (putting her head into her puppy coat), “Close” (sitting between my feet), “Place” (go to her bed and lay down), and the all-important “Busy” (go to the bathroom on command)!

What excursions has Pip taken?
She’s been on two different street cars (Savannah and Ybor City), a Kentucky Derby party, the airport, fire stations (3), pet stores, malls, the beach, one Walkathon, a few different churches, a couple of schools, and the gym. (She didn’t work out — she watched me work out.)

What characteristics does she show that are like the animated Pip?
She’s small (just 43 lbs at 8 months old). And she spins in circles when she’s excited.

How does she likes her bath?
Baths aren’t her favorite thing, but she’s patient and well-behaved for them. Then she runs around like crazy afterwards and will roll in the carpet or grass if I let her.

What are some fun facts about Pip that you can share with us?
Puppies need lots of rest and her favorite thing to do is sleep. She is a good retriever and will bring toys back if you throw them. She’s only barked one time in her whole life, when she was 5 months old. She’s a very good traveler. She lives with two other dogs and an old cat and wishes all of them would play with her more. She still gets the zoomies often and runs around the yard like crazy when we get home from a meeting. She rides in golf carts at Southeastern Guide Dogs so often that when we walked past one the other day on the street, she tried to get in it.

Still haven’t seen the film? Watch it now!

Posted on May 17, 2019 | Category: Blog