How to Raise a Guide Dog Puppy
Guide dogs are working dogs. They are trained to assist people who are blind or vision impaired. Guide dogs
are able to guide people to ensure they get to their destination safely. Many people in the community volunteer to raise guide dog puppies.
What is guide dog puppy raising?
As part of a Guide Dogs Australia program, people in the community can apply to care for and raise a puppy. This means at eight weeks of age a puppy will go to live the volunteer. At twelve weeks of age the puppy will attend puppy pre-school. This is where they learn basic skills such as sitting and walking on command. At fourteen months, the puppy then leaves the volunteer and returns to the Guide Dog Centre. It’s here that they learn the skills of becoming a guide dog.
Who makes a good puppy raiser?
There’s a lot to consider before becoming a puppy raiser. Firstly, you will need to ensure you live near the centre so you can attend training sessions. Do you have the space and time to raise a puppy? Is everyone in your household committed to looking after the puppy? Puppies are hard work and require high levels of care. In addition to regular exercise they also need regular attention. Puppies (and all pets) shouldn’t be left a long for long periods of time. Is this something you can commit to?
Why become a puppy raiser?
Raising a puppy that will eventually become a guide dog will help change people’s lives. Guide dogs enable people who are blind, or vision impaired to live in a way that they may not be able to otherwise. As a puppy raiser, you would be playing an important part in the community in continuing this important work. Not everyone can be (or is accepted) to be a puppy raiser but if you feel you would be a good candidate, ask questions and start the process.
Being a guide dog puppy raiser is incredibly rewarding. However, remember that your role is part of the dog’s journey. Once your guide dog reaches a certain age, they will be leaving you to start the next phase of their journey
. Being a guide dog puppy raiser means you need to remain focused on the bigger picture and the mission of the guide dog.