It wasn’t too long ago that we introduced you to Sunny, the new Today show Puppy with a Purpose who is training to become a guide dog with the Guide Dog Foundation, and all of his fellow do-gooder puppy siblings.
Sunny and Co. have done a lot of growing since then, and with maturity comes responsibility. All of the pups are soaking up new training and tricks like sponges at their respective TV studios with help from their handlers and news teams.
All of the puppies are on the path to become service animals through The Guide Dog Foundation or America’s Vet Dogs and are currently “in the foundation stage of their career,” according to the two non-profits.
To be the ideal assistance animal, all of the canines are “learning to relieve outside, be polite in the home, and respond to basic obedience cues.”
Among the cues they are mastering now is “Place,” which cues the puppy to lay down on a specified area, like a blanket or dog bed. This will help their future owners make sure the dogs are safely out of the way when their owners are performing certain actions, like opening the oven or greeting a stranger at the door.
Sunny, Today‘s adorable yellow Labrador puppy recently stopped by the PEOPLE offices, with handler Olivia Poff, to show off some of the new cues he is learning.
Zuma, Sunny’s black Lab brother, was placed with KNBC-TV in California. Along with his training, Zuma has also been spending time in Malibu and the Hollywood Hills. He recently took a trip to the Malibu pier where he learned to be around new sights and sounds.
Izzy, another one of Sunny’s brother, is being raised in Athens, Georgia, at 11 Alive’s studio. Here the yellow Lab takes frequent trips to the University of Georgia. He also visited Ponce City Market where he showed great control around all the food smells.
Camden, the only girl of the litter, is being raised at WBAL-TV, splitting her time between Baltimore and Washington D.C. The black Lab is making friends fast, including the Baltimore Orioles’ mascot.
The final of the five is Brady who lives in Boston and is being raised by NBC 10 Boston. Brady recently braved the cold like a true New Englander and attended Red Sox opening day.
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In June 2019, all of the pups will leave their stations and return to the campus of Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs to learn more advanced skills from the groups’ training staff. The socialization and foundation training the puppies picked up at their respective stations will be vital to their success in the next phase of their journey to become service dogs.