Steve lived in increasing isolation

Your gift could help end a lifetime of isolation for people with low vision or blindness like Steve.

Steve with Guide dog.

Steve lived in increasing isolation

Your gift could help end a lifetime of isolation for people with low vision or blindness like Steve.

Steve with Guide Dog Donate today

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.

Yellow Guide dog puppy being held. Head resting on the shoulder of a female.

Raise a puppy Puppy Raiser responsibilities

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.

Two Guide Dogs in training outside on the grass with their harnesses on.

Raise a puppy What is required to become a Puppy Raiser?

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.
Black Guide Dog puppy on a leash, going for a walk outside.

Raise a puppy Can I raise a puppy if I already have a dog at home?

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!

If for some reason you do not fit these criteria, there are many other ways in which you can help. You could become a Volunteer in your area. You could become a Puppy Sponsor, where you can follow the journey of a puppy 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.

If you hope to get involved, contact us for more information now!

Yellow Guide Dog puppy and adult Guide Dog sitting on dog beds indoors.

Raise a puppy Will I get support from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT?

We provide most of the equipment you need to make your pup feel at home.

This includes:

  • dog food
  • preventative medications (fleas, worms and heartworm)
  • collars
  • leash
  • grooming equipment
  • a food bowl.

We also cover all veterinary costs through one of our approved vets in your local area.

We also provide ongoing support and advice through our Education Sessions, our online Resource Centre “Puppy Central”, and through regular Training Sessions.

Training Sessions are generally held on a weekly basis until the pup is 4 months of age, and then fortnightly thereafter. Regular visits allow our Puppy Development Team to monitor the pup’s development, and address any concerns promptly to ensure that the Guide Dog Puppy journey is enjoyable for everyone involved.

12 week old yellow Guide Dog puppy outside training.

Raise a puppy Become a Temporary Carer for Guide Dog Puppies

If you cannot commit to the full 12 months required as a Puppy Raiser, 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.

Yellow Guide Dog puppy going for a walk on the beach.

Apply to become a Puppy Raiser or Temporary Carer in ACT

We have a current and urgent need for Puppy Raisers in the Canberra and ACT region only. To enquire about opportunities in this area only, please contact Mikaela Smith on msmith@guidedogs.com.au for the application form and details on the application process.

Once your Puppy Raising or Temporary Care Application has been received and approved, you will be contacted by someone from our Puppy Development Team for an information session appointment at your home, or a group session at the Guide Dogs Centre.

Temporary Caring and Puppy Raising in NSW

We have temporarily closed new applications for Puppy Raisers and Carers until the Government restrictions associated with COVID-19 have been lifted.

During this time, you can help children like Emma achieve their dream of receiving their very own Guide Dog.

Find out more here
Emma with guide dog