Being a Puppy Raiser is one of our most rewarding volunteer roles!
Guide Dogs Queensland needs regular volunteers to care for our puppies from about 10 weeks of age until they are old enough to begin Guide Dog training. This will be anytime from when the pup is between 11 and 14 months of age.
The primary responsibility of a Puppy Raiser is to socialise the puppy and help us to produce confident, well-mannered, young adult dogs who are ready to undertake formal Guide Dog Training.
During this time our Puppy Development Supervisors support our Puppy Raisers and their Guide Dog puppies in the following areas (to list just a few):
- Go on regular visits to shopping centres, malls, cafes and restaurants;
- Attend regular Guide Dogs Queensland group training sessions in their local area
- Have regular car travel;
- Meet other well-behaved animals to assist with social skills (we can help with this!)
- Learn to travel on all forms of public transport; and
- Be exposed to a range of people and children of varying ages.
A Puppy Development Supervisor will make regular visits to your house and meet you in a range of community environments to provide instructional support and monitor the pup’s progress. Initially visits are weekly, then progress to fortnightly and monthly as the pup matures. Puppy Supervisors give Puppy Raisers invaluable advice regarding canine behaviour so the puppies behaviour is well understood and interpreted. They also give the skills required to handle a dog expertly.
The Puppy Development Supervisor is qualified to provide instruction and show a Puppy Raiser exactly what they need to do.
It’s important for the puppy to be socalised every day to grow their experience and skills in social situations.
This daily walk is a vital part of the puppy’s routine.
While it can be very sad to say goodbye, it is incredibly rewarding for Puppy Raisers to see their young dog enter Guide Dog training and go on to create a successful working Guide Dog partnership with a blind or vision impaired Queenslander. For this reason, many of our Puppy Raisers continue to volunteer for many years and raise several puppies. Puppy Raisers receive a formal photo of a their Guide Dog-in-training and are invite to watch their dog in the latter stages of formal training before they are matched in a working partnership. Puppy Raisers are also invited as special guests to our Guide Dog Team Graduation ceremony where they can see their puppy ‘graduate’ as a Guide Dog and meet their new handler.
Puppy Raiser Criteria
- Do you live in the Brisbane, Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast areas?
- Is there an adult in your home who can raise the puppy?
- Are you free of full-time employment or work flexible part-time hours only? (This role is not suitable for full-time workers)
- Are you able to spend most of your time with the puppy? A Guide Dog puppy is similar to having a toddler in the home (the pup should not be left alone for more than two hours a day when less than six months of age)?
- Do you have a Driver’s Licence and access to a motor vehicle?
- Do you have time to attend training sessions in your local area or at the Bald Hills Breeding and Training Centre?
- Is your property securely fenced?
- Are you willing to have the puppy live and sleep inside the living area of your home?
- If you have children, are they five years or older?
- Are you interested in learning about canine behaviour and how to handle and socialise a service dog
If you can answer yes to these questions then we would love to hear from you.
Raising a future Guide Dog is a big responsibility but it is also incredibly rewarding.
Guide Dogs Queensland receives support from people of all walks of life – and everyone has a different idea of how they can help out.
We receive less than seven per cent in government funding, none of which goes towards the breeding and training of Guide Dogs, or any services across regional and rural Queensland.
The support we receive through the fundraising efforts of individuals, schools, organisations and businesses is vital to the ongoing delivery of our life-changing services to Queenslanders who are blind or vision impaired.
It’s not just about the donations either, your help in spreading the word about Guide Dogs Queensland and the services we provide is just as important and appreciated.
Here is a list of ideas on how to fundraise, but remember the most important rule is to make sure you add the “FUN” in fundraising!
There is government legislation; however, that requires people raising money to hold a Letter of Authorisation issued by the organisation they are helping. This applies to individuals, groups, workplaces or organisations. GDQ can issue these letters once we approve your event or activity.
If any of these ideas inspire you, or if you have your own great idea, then we’d love to hear from you. To notify us of your intention to fundraise, please contact us today.
Guide Dogs Queensland’s volunteers are engaged in special programs, in dedicated positions or to assist us with a number of campaigns and events throughout the calendar year.
We support and acknowledge the valued contribution of all our volunteers.
No matter where you are, how you can help, or what job you do, your contribution helps us make a difference to the lives of Queenslanders with little or no vision.
Our volunteer roles include:
- Working in our Bundaberg Op Shop and warehouse – duties include clothes sorting, pricing and sales.
- Puppy Raising (see first tab above) – raise one of our pups (in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast only)
- Kennels Volunteering – available in Brisbane at our Breeding and Training Centre, Bald Hills.
- Team Projects – corporate groups can undertake specific team building projects.
- Fundraising Stalls – our regional offices around Queensland who regularly host merchandise stalls at local events and shopping centres.
- Administration duties – Occasional administration duties are available through your local office.
- Breeding Stock Carer – Boarding and providing a caring home to our Broods and Studs.
- General Boarding – Providing a temporary home for Guide Dogs or puppies as an alternative to kenneling at our Bald Hills centre.
Work with us
Since 1960, Guide Dogs Queensland has been a leader in the provision of quality mobility services to Queenslanders, of all ages, with low or no vision.
We have a wide range of unique career opportunities at Guide Dogs Queensland. Our Association grows each year and includes professional staff positions as well as an administration team tasked with looking after our finances, fundraising, human resources, administration, media and marketing functions.
There are two distinct Client Service departments – our Guide Dog Services and Rehabilitation Services. Positions in our Rehabilitation Services area include: Orientation and Mobility Instructors, Counsellors, Cadet Orientation and Mobility Instructors, Rehab Carers and Administration staff.
Our Guide Dogs Services team members boast they work with the best people, best animals and in the best location in Australia (and some say the world!)
Positions in this department include: Breeding Attendants, Kennel Attendants, Puppy Development Supervisors, Guide Dog Trainers, Guide Dog Mobility Instructors, Guide Dog Trainer and Puppy Development Cadets and administration staff.
For many, entering the field of Guide Dog and Rehabilitation Services has become a life-long and international career in this rewarding and unique industry.
GDQ is proud to support the development of staff and we offer our people exciting professional development opportunities, creating a highly motivated team focused on the strategic delivery of our operations and services.
Being part of the GDQ team means you’ll enjoy a busy and friendly work environment that celebrates achievements and encourages your career development, GDQ staff show commitment and pride in their work and respect for others.
There are no current positions vacant, please contact us to find out more about working with Guide Dogs Queensland.