At seven weeks of age, our Guide Dog pups are placed in the community with volunteer Puppy Raisers. These families or individuals ensure that our new recruits get the best possible care, in a loving home environment.
These special, dedicated Raisers have one thing in common – they embrace the opportunity to help change people's lives forever.
Your guide to the Puppy Raising Program:
- Who makes a good Puppy Raiser?
- What is required?
- Will I get support from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT?
- Can I do Temporary Care?
- How do I become a Puppy Raiser or Temporary Carer?
- What happens after I apply?
A good Puppy Raiser is someone who is caring, patient, and responsible.
Before you fill out our Puppy Raiser Application, please take some time to read through the information in this section of the website. Feel free to call us on 02 4579 7555 to discuss any questions you may have.
To help you decide whether Puppy Raising is for you, please read through the Key Components of Puppy Raising.
Puppy Raising is a 12 month commitment in which Raisers are responsible for:
- Making the pup part of their family and keeping them safe.
- Attending Education Sessions and regular Training Sessions.
- Teaching the pup dog skills (such as sit, drop, stay), good manners, and providing regular socialisation experiences.
- Establishing good toileting, feeding, sleeping, and walking routines.
Please read through Puppy Raiser / Temporary Carer Responsibilities for more detail.
While these activities are important, the dogs are first and foremost puppies – so plenty of love and tummy scratches are also required!
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT provides most of the equipment needed to make your pup feel at home. Items include collars, leash, grooming equipment, and a food bowl. We also cover all food, preventative medicine, and veterinary costs.
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.
Puppy Raising is a rewarding experience you will remember for the rest of your life. Not only will you be giving a gorgeous pup a loving home, you will also be helping to train a potential future Guide Dog, one that will change a person’s life forever.
Before applying to become a Puppy Raiser, please make sure you fit our criteria including that you need to:
- Live in the Sydney area – this is to ensure that your pup can attend regular Training Sessions with the Puppy Development Team. You can see the Districts we service by viewing our Puppy Raising Districts map.
- 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.
- Walk your pup each day.
- Allow your pup to sleep and spend time indoors.
- Have a yard with dog-proof fencing.
- Have access to a car to transport your pup.
- Be available to attend Education and Training Sessions. For the most part, Training Sessions will be conducted in your local District.
- Please note that 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 you cannot commit to the full twelve months required as a Puppy Raiser, we totally understand. You can still help us by registering as a Temporary Carer. These 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.
Once your Puppy Raising or Temporary Care Application has been received and approved, you will be invited to attend an Information Session at the Guide Dog Centre at Glossodia.
The Information Session Pack includes:
- Key Components of Puppy Raising
- Puppy Raiser / Temporary Carer Responsibilities
- Guide Dogs Responsibilities
- Puppy Raising Policies
- Puppy Raising and Temporary Carer Agreement