Puppy Raising Application Process

Like many of our puppy raisers, you have most likely owned a dog before and that is what sparked your interest. However, raising a puppy to be a guide dog is much different from having your own pet. There are different rules and protocols that need to be followed, and the application process will help you be prepared before you get your puppy.

After attending orientation we ask that all applicants attend puppy classes or a dog handling skills evaluation with an advisor or area coordinator. Because raising a puppy with the Guide Dog Foundation requires regular attendance at monthly classes, we want to make sure this is something that can fit into your schedule before you receive your puppy. Attending puppy class or dog handling skills evaluation as an applicant gives you the opportunity to observe your advisor or area coordinator as they teach and support the other raisers in using our training methods. It also gives you the opportunity to hear raising anecdotes from raisers who went through the same process that you did before they got their puppy. Your advisor or area coordinator will ask you to handle different dogs and puppies during the class or evaluation. This is your opportunity to see what it’s like to have a puppy in public. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make observations or suggestions. We are a community that supports and encourages open communication.

The next step in your process will be a home interview with a staff member or an approved volunteer. They will come to your home and make sure that it is a safe environment for a young pup. During the interview they will ask you questions about feeding time, exercise, and playtime for the puppy, where the crate will go, what your lifestyle and schedule are like on a regular basis. In order to place the best puppy in your home we want you to ask any questions that you need to in order to feel you’re ready to welcome a new puppy into your home.

Once your home interview has been completed and approved you will watch a young puppy under 5 months old for several nights and a pup older than 9 months old. This will give you the chance to see what it’s like to raise a puppy. We will give you all the supplies and support you need!