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 harness training.
Many Puppy Raising Regions have their own Facebook page, where you can meet some of our raisers and pups and find details of training classes and local contact information. Find the region nearest you by visiting our of Puppy Raising Regions page.
We are committed to supporting you in all areas of your puppy raising experience. We will strive to meet your needs and we welcome suggestions for program improvement. If you have ideas for improvement, let us know!
We do our best to get to know you at Pre-Placement Class and we use puppy temperament tests to help us match a puppy to your skills and situation. We will provide support and teach you the skills you need to raise a future guide dog and work with you to problem-solve when you need extra guidance. Guiding Eyes continually evaluates new techniques to improve the puppy raising process and will provide instruction and guidance on how to use these techniques throughout your time with the pup.
We will provide you with heartworm and flea and tick preventatives and cover all expenses for pre-authorized veterinary care at a local veterinarian if you are not able to visit our veterinary offices.
We assist in arranging for the pup’s transportation to and from Guiding Eyes. Raisers are asked to travel to regional meeting points to drop off and pick up their pups. Raisers living within a two-hour drive of Guiding Eyes are asked to provide transportation to and from Guiding Eyes. We will notify you approximately one month in advance of the dog’s In-For-Training (IFT) date. We will provide regular updates when your dog is in training via regular training reports.
Guiding Eyes is one of the few schools that provide an opportunity for you to connect with the recipient of the dog you have raised. With your permission, we provide the graduate with your contact information and can facilitate your first meeting whether during the team’s training or via a graduation.
After graduation, we respect the individual preferences of our graduates to either maintain or not maintain contact with their dog’s puppy raiser. Either way, you can contact your Regional Puppy Instructor for an update on how the dog you raised is doing or to send the graduate a message. For details about placement of retired guide dogs, please see policies for retired dogs.
Guiding Eyes Regional Puppy Instructors work closely with each team to share our expertise and experience to support all our volunteers. Puppy raisers attend regular group classes throughout their time with the pup and you can expect to meet on a one-to-one basis with your Regional Puppy Instructor at Walk and Talks and on an as-needed basis.
The relationship between raiser and pup lays the foundation for a successful and rewarding journey 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.
STEP is Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s unique relationship-based approach to training in which raisers teach puppies essential skills in sequential steps. The Successive Training and Enrichment Program is based on the relationship between raiser and pup. A trust-filled relationship develops when we are able to recognize our pup’s needs, respond in a way that helps them and do these things consistently. Puppies thrive in this type of relationship, building confidence to explore and enjoy learning.
Pre-Placement Class is your introduction to puppy raising and our training methods and philosophy. Before you’re eligible to raise one of our puppies, you need to attend a Pre-Placement Class.
Regions hold regular group classes, taught by Region Helpers or Regional Puppy Instructors. These required classes are a great chance for you and the pup to learn from the experiences of others on the same journey.
Each raiser and puppy meet with a Guiding Eyes Regional Puppy Instructors a minimum of three times. These one-on-one sessions, referred to as Walk and Talks, will help you with ongoing issues or questions about the puppy you are raising and allow the RPI to assess the pup’s progress.
At least two weeks prior to the scheduled session, each raiser needs to fill out the Pup Progress Survey form. The report is automatically sent to the Regional Puppy Instructor and Region Coordinator to help them prepare for your Walk and Talk.
The majority of training materials and video support are accessible to authorized users within our website and via webinars.