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Raising and Training Your Guide Dog

A blonde Labrador puppy sits on a footpath

Congratulations on your decision to become a puppy owner!

The journey ahead will be both difficult and rewarding as you watch your puppy learn and grow from a pup to a young adult. The role you have in your puppy’s life is very important.

Not only will you have an important role in the puppy’s life, you will also be changing the life of a person with visual impairment by raising a Guide Dog for them. This Guide Dog will give them a profound sense of independence by allowing them to get around their communities safely, without relying on another person.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has been raising and training puppies to be Guide Dogs for nearly 60 years.  We are a member of the International Guide Dog Federation and are recognised as a leader in our field.

With this guide we would like to share with you some of the tips and expert information that we have learned along the way.   

The following information has been taken from our Puppy Raising Manual, the training guide which we use to raise and train our very own Guide Dog puppies.

From this Guide you will learn:

  • Puppy behaviour:  Learning how to understand your puppy’s behaviour is key to teaching them good habits and curbing unacceptable behaviour. Learn how to break bad habits such as jumping, chewing and digging.

  • Diet and general care for puppy: Learn the correct diet and general care information you need to follow to raise a healthy, happy guide dog. From diet and feeding to sleep and grooming and health checks, learn how to care for your puppy properly.

  • Health and safety tips: Keeping your puppy healthy and safe is pivotal to raising a guide dog. Learn important information such as the necessary vaccinations, worming, de-sexing and more.

  • Exercise and play: Exercise and play will help develop your puppies physical and mental health. Learn some helpful exercise tips such as how to get your puppy used to walking on a lead and how to make playtime effective.

  • Obedience and training: Teaching your dog obedience is pivotal to ensuring you raise a successful Guide Dog. This will help you understand why having a routine is important for your puppy as well as why you should establish house rules, a toileting routine and what commands you should teach your puppy.

For more information on raising and training your Guide Dog, you can contact us. If you would like to help us at Guide Dogs NSW/ACT but can’t commit to raising a puppy, there are many other ways you can get involved, these include sponsoring a puppy, making a donation or helping us fundraise