Puppy Raising Leadership Structure

The Guide Dog Foundation strives to be a leading resource and provider of premier services to facilitate the independence of people who are blind or visually impaired.

The Puppy Department

The puppy department at the Guide Dog Foundation works closely with each puppy raiser to produce a successful puppy raising experience. We are a vital, thriving part of our organization and work closely with our breeding and training departments.  The puppy department is continually striving to improve and better serve our clients and puppy raisers. That means we offer open communication between our staff, volunteers, and raisers. We value suggestions and opinions given to help us move toward progress. The puppy department wants each puppy and raiser to succeed and have fun. Puppy raising is a challenge and can become difficult at times. We hope the relationships you build with your advisor, area coordinator, group leader, and other puppy raisers will provide adequate support in whatever challenges and success you might face. 


Advisors are staff members who oversee puppies in their assigned area. Currently, our program staff are assigned puppies in their geographic proximity and boundaries. They are responsible for overseeing each puppy’s training, health, and raising until the dog comes in for training at the appropriate time.

All of our advisors have excellent communication, training, and dog handling skills. They are kept up to date on new health and training news. Your advisor is expected to guide you through puppy raising by answering your questions, offering support, teaching obedience and socialization classes, and helping you and your puppy reach your full potential together.

Area Coordinators

Area coordinators are selected individuals who have shown further interest in being involved with the Guide Dog Foundation. They hold themselves and others to a high standard of excellence, have shown their respect and understanding for puppy raising and training guide dogs, have excellent communication skills, and are ambassadors of our mission.

Area coordinators are assistants to advisors. They are volunteers who would like to dedicate more time to our mission. ACs are often responsible for teaching classes, being a point of contact for our raisers, and offering support to their assigned puppy raisers.

Group Leaders

Group leaders are a vital part of our organization. Again, they are volunteers who want to offer more than just puppy raising to the Foundation. They are learning to become area coordinators and offer support to puppy raisers alongside area coordinators.