Raise a Puppy
Raising a Future Leader Dog won’t only change someone else’s life.
It will change yours.
"I became interested in volunteering as a puppy raiser due to my insatiable passion for dogs, coupled with my desire to be of help to others. I've learned these four-legged fur balls are more than dogs. They transform into a person's lifeline—their touchstone—literally, their pathway to independence."
This is what raising a Future Leader Dog means to so many of our puppy raisers, who give 12 to 15 months of their time, energy and love while raising a puppy for Leader Dog. Through daily care and training, puppy raisers provide the foundation puppies need to begin guide dog training with the goal of becoming the trusted companion of a person who is blind or visually impaired.
What Does a Puppy Raiser Do?
Puppies are constantly learning during their first year of life. During this time, puppy raisers are responsible for housebreaking the puppy and teaching good manners like staying off the furniture, not jumping on counters or visitors and not begging at the table. They also practice basic obedience commands with the puppy such as sit, down, stay, heel and come. To prepare puppies for their lives as guide dogs, puppy raisers socialize the puppies through exposure to many different kinds of people, vehicles, environments and animals.
Why Puppy Raising
More About Puppy Raising
Puppy raisers are responsible for purchasing food, toys, replacement collars, replacement leashes and veterinary care for the puppy (Leader Dog supplies the initial toys, collar and leash). Puppy raisers who live close to Leader Dog may bring the puppy to our veterinarians at no cost to them. However, raisers using a local veterinarian incur the cost of routine care. Many veterinarians will provide discounted services to Leader Dog puppy raisers.
Safety of the puppies should always be a concern for puppy raisers. Whenever a puppy is outside and not within a completely fenced area, the puppy must be on a leash. There will be times when a puppy is unable to go out with its puppy raiser. During those times, the puppy is to remain crated indoors.
Puppy raisers receive support from puppy counselors, who arrange monthly events in a variety of settings and provide tips on care, training and manners.
If you decide to open your home to a puppy, you will receive contact information for your puppy counselor, access to the Puppy Raiser's Manual, instructional videos, Puppy Tales newsletter, and opportunities to attend training sessions on our campus hosted by highly experienced team members.
Having raised or owned a puppy in the past is not a requirement to become a puppy raiser. The most important trait of puppy raisers is the dedication to provide daily care to a puppy and consistency in its training.
Making an Impact
Sandy Frick recalls, “One client told us that getting her Leader Dog was better than all the Christmas gifts she had ever gotten in her life. We’re amazed that what we thought was a small thing we could do makes such a big impact on a person’s life.” ... Read More
20 Years of Puppy Raising
Besides being a puppy raiser, Beverly has also been a puppy counselor for the last five years, and she loves helping her group raise successful Leader Dogs. "I like to encourage them because it's one of the best gifts they will give and one of the best life experiences I will ever have.". ... Read More
A Great Opportunity
Mary began volunteering after seeing an advertisement for puppy raisers. “I made the decision instantly. It was one of those ‘Why not?’ things,” says Mary. “I had dogs and loved dogs my whole life. Plus, I knew that this would be a great opportunity to help someone.” ... Read More