Gina Barr

I have had a love for animals for as long as I can remember.  Unfortunately for me, I was the only one in my family that had this passion so I did not start on my journey with animals until I was thirteen.  At that time I had the opportunity to be given a nine month old colt.  My parents agreed that I could have him as long as I paid for everything myself.    It definitely was a love and passion when your only income is .50 cents an hour babysitting!  I would babysit almost every night to raise money to keep my horse.

When I got married and had a house and time for a dog, I got my first dog, Rolex, a germen shepherd.  I read everything I could about dog training.  My experience raising and training a young horse came in very handy.  Several years later, I adopted a young germen shepherd, Duchess, from the humane society.  My kids thought that Duchess needed a playmate.  I informed them that that was their job but liked the idea of a second dog.  I did not want just another pet though.

After watching a television show on working dogs, I decided to start volunteering with Guide Dogs for the Blind out of San Rafael, California.  Having experience with germen shepherds, I was given a 9 month old pup that needed to be moved to a different home to be raised.   Within a few months, I was a club leader, teaching other puppy raisers how to train their new pups.  I worked with both kids from the age of nine, and adults.  Guide dog puppies consisted of labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, golden/lab crosses, and germen shepherds.  I volunteered with “Guide Dogs for the Blind” for about twelve years.  I received a lot of training and experience during that time.  I also volunteered at the Guide Dog kennel in San Rafael one day a week for about two years.  During this time, Carlisle, one of the pups I raised, was dropped from the program and I decided to keep him.  When “Guide Dogs for the Blind” discontinued their germen shepherd breeding program, I taught a little longer but decided that I wanted to continue to raise germen shepherd puppies so I moved on.

While I had my dog Carlisle, I trained him in search and rescue.  He was wilderness and cadaver certified.  He was also trained in avalanche and water search but due to lack of snow or availability of a boat, we never certified.

I have been teaching group and private lessons in the Sonora and Angels Camp area of California for the past eight years.  I have trained a lab to aide his legally deaf owner respond to the door, and an Australian Shepherd as a service dog.  I just trained a germen shepherd who received her BH after just five weeks of training!  I am also a certified “Canine Good Citizen” evaluator for the AKC (American Kennel Club).

Carlisle SAR