Key Components of Puppy Raising
To help you decide whether Puppy Raising is for you, please read through the following assessment questions.
1. Commitment of Time
- Are you willing to attend Information and Educational Sessions (may be up to four sessions a year) at the Guide Dog Centre, Glossodia?
- Will you exercise and train the pup daily, including walks, obedience sessions, and general house manners, such as greeting people politely and waiting at the door?
- Are you prepared to attend regular Training Sessions and outings during weekday business hours?
- Do you commit to spending a large portion of your day with the pup, making it part of your life and normal routine? Therefore, the pup is not left by itself for any longer than 4 hours per day?
- Is everyone in the household committed to toilet training the pup and taking responsibility for ensuring the pup is toileted frequently? Initially this entails hourly trips to the designated toileting area.
- Can you devote adequate time to socialise the pup in a variety of environments, at least 3-5 times a week? Socialisation experiences can be short and sweet (5-15 mins) and can be incorporated into everyday activities such as school pick-ups etc., whereby the pup can encounter various noises, floor surfaces, people, and animals.
2. Safety of You and the Pup
- Are you able to physically handle a 30-40kg dog on lead?
- Do you have the physical ability to perform a number of repetitive tasks when attending to the pup (from a small pup to a mature adult)? These tasks may involve lifting, twisting, stretching, bending, kneeling, and squatting.
- Are you prepared to puppy-proof your property? This includes, but is not limited to;
- The removal of all rat and snail baits, poisons, safe relocation of chemicals, cleaning products, and medicines, and moving electrical cords and other potential hazards.
- Remove or block access to any dangerous plants.
- Ensure fencing is secure around pools and elevated areas to prevent falls.
- Is your fencing and yard secure, preventing the pup from escaping, and unwanted dogs from gaining access to the pup, especially when entire (not desexed), and during female heat cycles?
- Do you have suitable outdoor shelter for the pup from weather elements (e.g. sun and rain)?
- Are you willing to keep the pup on leash, or in a secure fenced-off area whenever it is outdoors?
- Is everyone in the household committed to keeping the pup safe? For example, moving out of reach small objects that pose a choking hazard such as children’s toys, and ensuring that gates and doors are shut securely.
- Are you prepared to maintain the pup’s health and well-being by following veterinary direction, ensuring preventative medication is delivered in a timely manner, and Guide Dogs NSW/ACT advice adhered to?
- Can you health check (we will show you how), and groom the pup on a regular basis?
- Will you do your utmost to ensure the pup’s safety whilst in your care, both at home and on outings where you may encounter a range of potential hazards such as cars and bikes?
3. Expectations of the Household
- Are all members of the household agree with raising a pup and adhering to the guidelines set out by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT to ensure consistent handling of the pup?
- Is anyone allergic to, uncomfortable around, or scared of, dogs? Do not forget that during the Puppy Raising period, our small pups grow at a rapid rate to become large dogs!
- If other pets are present in the household, will they be comfortable with having a pup in the house? Are you willing to ensure that our criteria for house manners are followed, even though different rules may apply for your own pets?
- It is not recommended to bring an additional pup into the household while caring for our pup, to ensure the focus is primarily on the Guide Dog pup.
- Is the household prepared to clean up after the pup, including toileting accidents and dog hair?
- Prior dog experience is not essential – as long as you are happy to learn and follow Guide Dogs NSW/ACT guidelines, your Puppy Development Advisor will help teach and support you through this journey!
4. Focus on the Mission
- Raising a pup for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is a rewarding experience. Returning the Guide Dog pup is emotional, but you can take pride in knowing that you are contributing to the independent mobility of a person with a vision impairment. You are supporting our mission to empower people with vision loss to actively participate in their communities.
- Are you committed to raising the pup adhering to the methods outlined by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, even if they differ from what you have previously used to raise your own pet dogs?
- When you raise a Guide Dog pup, you become part of our Puppy Raising Family. Are you willing to be part of a team, working together with your Puppy Development Advisor and fellow Puppy Raising volunteers, treating all members with respect and kindness?
- Can you communicate with team members in a timely fashion? Email is our primary means of communicating with our Puppy Raisers. Having access to email is preferable, but not essential to you partaking in the Program.