Time Commitment

  • Are you able and willing to get up a bit earlier in the morning to train and exercise your dog before work?
  • Can you devote adequate time to attend training classes, quarterly assessments, and Eye Clinics?
  • For brood fosters, can someone get home every 4 hours during the last two weeks of pregnancy to let the dog out to eliminate?
  • Can you make the long-term commitment to foster a brood or stud throughout their breeding career? (typically until the dog is 6 years old for a brood and 8 years old for a stud)
  • Can you devote the time to transport the dog to the Canine Development Center for breeding and health care?

Ability to keep the dog safe

  • Are you willing to keep the dog on leash or in a secure fenced area whenever it is outdoors? Are you willing to stay outside with the dog to supervise its activities?
  • Are all family members willing to accept the responsibility of keeping the dog safe? This includes taking care that doors are securely shut and making sure that items that could be harmful if chewed or eaten are out of the dog’s reach?
  • Please be aware that breed dogs are sexually intact and must be prevented from any extra-curricular sexual activity.

Your family

  • Is everyone in the family willing to foster a breeding dog and utilize the Guiding Eyes training methods and philosophy?
  • Is anyone allergic to dogs?
  • Are other dogs and cats in the family agreeable to having a new dog in the house?

Enjoyment of dogs

  • You don’t need to know how to handle a dog, as we will teach you, but do you feel comfortable around larger dogs?
  • Do you mind dog hair, cleaning up after the dog, lots of sloppy kisses, and the other aspects of having a dog around?

Foster Responsibilities

The foster/sitter volunteers and the staff at the CDC work as a team to ensure that the dogs are kept in the best possible condition. Our foster/sitter volunteers are our diplomats, showing off our wonderful dogs to their communities each time they leave home. They also are a vital link to the success of our Puppy Raising Program, by including the raiser in the new career of the brood or stud that the raiser nurtured as a tiny puppy.

As a foster/sitter, you will not just be giving a home to a brood or stud, you’ll be joining an extended family of Guiding Eyes volunteers and staff, all working towards the mission of giving independence to visually-impaired individuals.

Fosters/sitters should feel free at any time to ask questions, understand everything that is happening with their dog, and bring any problems or concerns to the Brood Stud Program Manager.

Upon receiving a dog, each foster/sitter will sign a Foster Agreement or Sitter Agreement that addresses the requirements and policies that will continue throughout the dog’s breeding career.

The Differences Between Caring for a Brood or Stud Dog

Though it’s important to remember that the gender of the dog does not determine the personality of the dog, there are important differences between stud and brood dogs that you should consider – and we can help find the perfect match for you.

The Stud Program

A stud is required to visit Guiding Eyes an average of 25 to 30 times per year, and sometimes on as short notice as the same day. This requires that a stud foster have a flexible schedule.

Time away from home is more frequent, but for shorter periods, for studs than for broods. For example, studs called to the Breeding Kennel will be mated twice over three days (but each visit takes less than one hour), whereas pregnant broods will spend weeks at the Breeding and Whelping Kennels.

Stud fosters need consistent, skilled dog-handling abilities to maintain a well-behaved dog, because of a stud’s size and hormonal drive.

There are fewer fosters available for dog-sitting studs than broods. This means you may have to work harder to find a sitter for your stud.

About 5 new studs are kept for breeding each year, compared with 25 broods. Thus, you may wait longer for the opportunity to foster a stud.

Fosters of studs must transport the dog to the Breeding Kennel for breeding appointments, usually with 3 days advance notice, but occasionally with only 24-hour notice. The dogs are usually mated twice, 2 days apart.

The foster may arrange to leave the stud for a few days, (if he is required for multiple breedings), or schedule while-you-wait appointments. If the stud is left at the Breeding Kennel, the foster must pick up the stud promptly as arranged or when called by CDC staff.

The foster will also need to bring the stud to the Breeding Kennel during the workweek for collection and storage of semen for freezing. This may occur multiple times as needed.

The Brood Program

Broods typically spend three weeks twice a year in the Breeding Kennel during their heat cycle (based on 6-month intervals), whether being bred or not.

Broods stay at the Whelping Kennel for 5 to 6 weeks to deliver and care for their puppies.

In general, broods tend to be easier to handle.

Brood fosters require additional training, provided by Guiding Eyes, to care for the brood during pregnancy and upon her return home after whelping.

Fosters of broods must perform daily wiping of the external genitalia around the expected time of heat, to determine whether heat has started. The day heat starts, the foster must call the Breeding Kennel at (845) 230-6418 and deliver the brood within 36 hours. After heat or whelp is concluded, the foster must pick up the brood promptly when called by kennel staff.

During pregnancy, the foster will take need to take the brood to the Breeding Kennel at least once for an ultrasound appointment, normally scheduled during the workweek (daytime hours).

Brood Stud Foster Application

We’re delighted that you’re interested in this special and rewarding opportunity. Please fill out this electronic application, and we’ll be in touch in 7 to 10 business days to discuss your application in greater detail.

For additional information, please contact the Brood/Stud Program.

Brood Stud Foster Application

Dogs /Cats in Household

Last vaccine date (or closest estimate):

Please give a dog related reference such as a veterinarian, obedience instructor or breeder.
Reference 1

Please give a personal reference such as a Guiding Eyes for the Blind puppy raiser or Region Coordinator.
Reference 2 - Personal Reference

It is helpful for us to know where you work. We will not contact your employer without first notifying you.

 GEB Saff Only