Should I become a puppy raiser?
- Can you devote adequate time to exercise, train, and attend regular puppy classes during the evenings and weekends? Puppy classes are held weekly at first, then progress to every two weeks.
- For the first four months, can someone get home every 3 to 4 hours to feed and let the pup out of the crate to eliminate?
- Are you able and willing to get up a bit earlier in the morning to train and exercise your pup before work?
- When you are home, are you willing and able to keep the pup in the same room with you, so that you can monitor its activities and provide teaching lessons and praise for appropriate behavior? You will be asking the pup for politeness in all your daily interactions, including going out the door, exiting the crate, greeting people and other dogs, etc.
- Can you get the pup out for socialization opportunities at least five times a week? Making the pup part of your life and normal routine is ideal for older pups, but when the pup is very young you may need to make a special effort to take the pup to appropriate places (e.g., until pups are fully vaccinated they cannot visit areas where other dogs have eliminated; also, pups of any age cannot be left crated in a vehicle unless the temperature is appropriate). Multiple 5 to 15 minute exposure sessions can usually be worked into your errands and activities by making sure the pup is around various noises, animals, stairs, grates and other flooring surfaces, people, and objects of all kinds.
- Can you swap puppies with another raiser for a period of 1 to 2 weeks? All pups in the program are required to stay at another raiser’s house at least once quarterly unless otherwise instructed by the Regional Manager at Walk and Talk evaluations.
- Can you physically handle a 60- to 80-pound dog on leash?
- Are you able to bend down to puppy height?
- Are you able and willing to remove all rodenticides from your property?
- Are you willing to keep the pup 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 pup 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 puppy’s reach.
- If you raise a female pup, you will likely have her during her heat cycles. Dog panties can be worn to keep your house clean, but you will need to be especially careful for the three weeks of the heat cycle to avoid contact with intact male dogs.
- Is everyone in the family willing to raise a puppy and utilize the Guiding Eyes training methods and philosophy? Although there will be a primary raiser, all family members will need to understand the Guiding Eyes training methods and be consistent in the handling of the puppy.
- Is anyone allergic to dogs?
- Are other dogs and cats in the family agreeable to having a new dog in the house?
- To ensure that the raiser can focus on the Guiding Eyes puppy, any other puppies brought into the household must be at least six months older or younger than the Guiding Eyes puppy.
Whether it is your first or 20th puppy, you can take pride in knowing you have done something very few people can do. When the pup returns to Guiding Eyes, it may leave an empty space in your heart, but you have given a part of yourself to help another person. Raisers embark on this journey open and willing to raise the pup using Guiding Eyes techniques. Our methods may be different from those they have used to raise their own dogs.
We believe that raising a puppy is a collaborative effort. Even before being placed with his or her raiser, much time and effort has already been spent on the puppy’s development by other volunteers. Successfully raising a puppy requires working together with your Regional Manager, Region Team and other puppy raising volunteers.
Being willing and able to work as part of a team and treating all members with mutual respect and kindness are key to the puppy raising experience. It is essential to be able to communicate by email, as needed and in a timely fashion.
Love of Dogs
We can teach you to train a puppy, but we can’t teach you to love dogs!
Puppies grow, and it’s important that you feel comfortable around large adult dogs. Dog hair, cleaning up after the puppy, lots of sloppy kisses and other aspects of having a dog around come with the territory.