About our Puppy Raisers
Introduction to Puppy Raising.
At eight weeks of age, our Guide Dog pups are placed in the community with volunteer Puppy Raisers. These families or individuals ensure that our new puppy recruits get the best possible care, in a loving home environment while receiving necessary training.
These special, dedicated Puppy Raisers all have one thing in common – they embrace the opportunity to help change people’s lives forever.
Raising and training a puppy is an amazing experience that is incredibly rewarding for the whole family.
What is involved in being a Puppy Raiser?
Be part of an incredibly rewarding experience.
A good Puppy Raiser is someone who is caring, patient, and responsible.
Puppy Raising is a 12 month commitment. During that time, Raisers are responsible for:
- Making the pup part of your family and keeping them safe. Allow the pup to interact with household members.
- Attending weekly training sessions in your area.
- Teaching the pup some basics skills, including sitting nicely when being groomed, walking nicely on a lead, good house manners, and providing regular socialisation experiences.
- Establishing good toileting, feeding, sleeping, and walking routines.
There are more detailed expectations for Puppy Raisers. Learn more about the details and responsibilities.
What is required to become a Puppy Raiser?
A good Puppy Raiser is someone who is caring, patient, responsible, and loves giving pats and cuddles!
To become a Puppy Raiser, ideally you will:
- Live in the areas of Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Newcastle, South Coast, Southern Highlands or Canberra/Queanbeyan. This is to ensure your pup can attend regular training sessions with the Puppy Development Team.
- Be home for most of the day: your pup must not be left alone for more than four hours at a time without supervision and human company.
- Be available to walk your pup each day.
- Allow your pup to sleep and spend time indoors.
- Have a yard with dog-proof fencing unless you live in a flat or unit.
- Have access to a car to transport your pup.
- Be available to attend training sessions.
Guide Dogs will support you with what you need through the process including most of the equipment you need to make your pup feel at home and covering veterinary costs through one of our approved vets in your local area.
Become a Temporary Carer for Guide Dog Puppies
If you cannot commit to the full 12 months, we completely understand.
You can still help us by registering as a Temporary Carer!
Temporary Carers are on-hand to provide a loving home for when our Puppy Raisers go on holidays, or if they cannot look after their pup for a short period of time.
Puppy Raiser and Temporary Carer Application
What if I don't meet the criteria?
There are many other ways to get involved.
If for some reason you do not fit these criteria, there are many other ways in which you can help:
- Explore other volunteering opportunities in your area.
- Become a Home Whelping Family and provide a loving home for one of our breeding dogs.
- Become a Puppy Pal, where you can follow the journey of a litter of puppies and donate to help them become life-changing Guide Dogs.
- You can also assist at our Guide Dogs Centre, sell merchandise at events, or support us with administration duties.
- Kickstart your own fundraiser for Guide Dogs.
If you hope to get involved, contact us for more information!
Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to common questions.
Having your own pet dog does not exclude you from being a part of our Puppy Raising, or Temporary Care Program.
As long as your pet is “dog-friendly”, and you meet our other criteria, we are happy to place a pup with you!
We provide most of the equipment you need to make your pup feel at home.
- dog food
- preventative medications (fleas, worms and heartworm)
- grooming equipment
- a food bowl.
We also cover all veterinary costs through one of our approved vets in your local area.
It’s essential that you are able to commit to the time involved in raising a Guide Dog puppy, including daily exercise, attending regular training sessions and outings during weekday business hours, ensuring the pup is not left by itself for any longer than four hours per day and devote adequate time to socialise the pup in a variety of environments, at least 3-5 times a week.
Learn more about Puppy Raiser Responsibilities.