Raising a puppy is a big commitment and we understand that for some − although they would love to raise a puppy − a busy life makes it difficult to take on the full 12 to 16 month period. If that sounds like you, see below for other ways you can play a significant role in a puppy’s journey to becoming a guide dog. Whether interested in starting or finishing a puppy, or becoming a sitter, the process starts by submitting the Puppy Raiser Application and completing local Pre-Placement classes. Before you do, visit The Raiser Checklist, review our Pup Program Policies, or sign up for a virtual Information Session. Your region team will provide additional support in determining the best fit for you.
Take a puppy age 8 to 12 weeks into your home to train and socialize for 2 to 3 months. This is ideal for a volunteer who can be available at home every few hours for a small puppy’s needs. Some people really enjoy the puppy stage or are not physically strong enough to handle a larger dog. We are frequently in need of raisers who can start a puppy on program for other raisers who are unable to start a puppy and may require an older pup.
Take pups on program into your home for short periods of time. When their raisers are on vacation, provide care and support the training of puppies being raised as future guide dogs.
Older puppies sometimes become available because a raiser cannot continue to raise the puppy he or she started. These pups are ideal for raisers who require an older puppy that can be taken to work or school with them, or left crated for the maximum 6-hour time period while the raiser is at work.