Caring for a new litter can be one of the most rewarding opportunities that Guiding Eyes offers.

Our volunteers welcome a mother dog and her puppies into their homes within 1 week of birth and look after them for 2 to 5 weeks.

We provide all the necessary equipment, training, and support. Our volunteers provide the care, exercise, socialization, activity, interest, and love the dogs need to thrive.

Active or retired foster families and retired puppy raisers are ideal candidates since they’re familiar with our standards of care, but other dog-loving volunteers are welcome to apply. Take a look at our program requirements and see if being a home litter care volunteer could be the right opportunity for you.

  • 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?


Requirements of a Home Litter Care Volunteer

We’re excited that you’re considering becoming a home litter care volunteer. In this section you will find all the information you need to make an informed decision. We’re also available to talk through any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us

You should:

  • Live within one hour of the Canine Development Center in Patterson.
  • Be able to travel to Guiding Eyes facilities for veterinary care if needed, or in case of emergency.
  • Be able to house the brood and puppies in a heated area of the home that is easy to disinfect.
  • Have flexibility in your schedule to allow early morning, mid-day, afternoon, and evening care.
  • Be able to contain other household pets to an area that is separate from the brood and puppies.
  • Commit to 2 to 5 weeks of continuous care
  • Have access to a local 24-hour pharmacy

All of our care volunteers need to complete a full day of Home Litter Care and Early Socialization training at the Canine Development Center in Patterson.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time will I need to set aside each day to care for the brood and puppies?

You will need to devote approximately five hours every day to care, including:

  • Cleaning − between one and two hours to fully scrub and disinfect the brood and litter area once per day, plus frequent changing of the paper
  • Feeding − 20 minutes for each feeding, three times per day
  • Walking – 15 minutes for each walk for brood, four to five times per day
  • Socialization – 10 minutes for each pup per day
  • Grooming – 1 hour per week
How long will the brood and puppies stay in our home?

The brood and puppies will stay in your home for two to five weeks.

Do I need previous experience in caring for a litter of pups?

It’s certainly a plus, but not necessary. We will provide you and your family with all the necessary training.

Where does the training take place?
Does the whole family need to attend training?

Yes. All family members participating in the care of the litter, with the exception of small children, need to attend the training class.

Is 24 hour emergency care available if the brood or one of the pups gets sick?

Absolutely! We provide 24 hour emergency contact numbers for both the veterinarian as well as the Whelping Kennel staff.

Have a question? Email us at

Home Litter Care Application

Home Litter Care aims to enrich the lives and experiences of our puppies by utilizing your home environment. Within one week of giving birth, a brood and her puppies are placed in your home, under your care, for a period of up to 6 weeks. Interested parties may submit an application to the Home Litter Care Coordinator.

For additional information, please contact Elizabeth Martin at

Home Litter Care Application

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


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