No matter whether this is your first time raising a Guiding Eyes puppy or your 20th time, we’re here to help and support you in every way, so that you can successfully raise a puppy until it is ready to be evaluated for guide dog training.
Many Puppy Raising Regions have their own website or Facebook page, where you can find details of training classes and local contact information.
You can find the region nearest you by clicking on our map of puppy raising region locations.
Our Guiding Eyes Regional Managers work closely with each team to share our expertise and experience, so that we can support all our volunteers. You can expect to be working on a one-to-one basis with your Regional Manager at Walk and Talk evaluations.
Puppy raisers may be eligible to claim deductions on their income tax. Click here for a simple guide to potential tax deductions for Guiding Eyes volunteers. For further clarification, please consult your tax professional.
How to Raise a Puppy
The relationship between the raiser and pup lays the foundation for a successful and rewarding journey. This journey is made possible through the dedication and commitment of an entire team of individuals. Your Region Team and Guiding Eyes staff are available to teach and guide you throughout the puppy raising process.
The pre-training curriculum covers the basics of puppy raising and Guiding Eyes training methods and philosophy. Before you’re eligible to raise one of our puppies, you need to attend a series of pre-placement classes.
As any raiser knows, it takes a lot to raise a pup. An interesting look at a pup’s needs and expectations can be found in It Takes a Pack to Raise a Puppy.
Regions hold regular group classes, taught by Region Helpers or Regional Managers. These required classes are a great chance for you (and your puppy!) to learn from the experiences of others on the same journey.
Walk and Talk Puppy Evaluation
Each raiser and puppy meets with a Guiding Eyes Regional Manager a minimum of two times. These one-on-one sessions, referred to as Walk and Talks, will help you with any ongoing issues or questions about the puppy you are raising and allow the Regional Manager to assess the pup’s progress.
At least two weeks prior to the scheduled session, each raiser needs to fill out the Walk and Talk Evaluation form. The report is automatically sent to the Regional Manager and Region Coordinator.
Video Support Materials
Periodically, we may provide training support on DVDs, which the Region Team will distribute. The majority of training materials and video support is accessible to authorized users within our website and via webinars.
Guiding Eyes operates two fully equipped veterinary facilities, one at the main campus in Yorktown Heights, NY, and the other at the Canine Development Center in Patterson, NY.
Three Guiding Eyes veterinarians and four licensed veterinary technicians provide around-the-clock care for all Guiding Eyes dogs, whether in our Breeding Program, Puppy Program, or Training Program. Additionally, many veterinary specialists in the fields of ophthalmology, cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, and radiology donate all or part of their services to provide our dogs with the best care available.
Our facilities are equipped for performing x-ray studies, ultrasound (sonograms), endoscopy, dental x-rays, and surgical procedures, as well as for routine, preventative care. Our Yorktown Heights veterinary hospital has an MRI scanner.
The veterinary staff provides continuing support to Guiding Eyes graduates and their guide dogs either by coordinating care with veterinarians in the graduate’s home town or through a free veterinary care program we offer to graduates within commuting distance of Yorktown Heights or Patterson.