It was my dream to raise a puppy and Guide Dogs helped and supported me all the way. It has been the gift that keeps on giving.
Making a Guide Dog
It takes almost two years to breed, raise and train just one Guide Dog. Puppy Raisers volunteer during a critical phase of a pup’s development and they play a very important role in helping them to become working Guide Dogs.
You can help me learn!
0 to 8 weeks old
I live in the nursery with my Mum and siblings. Here I start finding my feet and learning more about the world around me.
Approx 2 to 15 months old
I’m so excited to go and live in the community with my Puppy Raisers! My new family takes me on lots of outings so I can gain new skills and experiences. I'll get to share my journey with two families!
Approx 15 to 20 months old
I return to the kennels to start my formal training when I’m about 15 months old. My trainer teaches me everything I need to know to be a Guide Dog!
20 months onward
After years of training I’m ready to start the job I was born for. My handler is carefully picked from the clients on our waiting list to make sure we’re the paw-fect match.
I love being a Guide Dog!
What does it take to raise a Guide Dog?
Nurture a puppy to reach its potential, and you will too.
Open your home and heart
Raising a puppy involves caring for a future Guide Dog from eight weeks to 15 months of age. You’ll help teach your pup basic obedience, socialisation and the foundations they need for their training.
We’ll be there along the way to offer all the support you need while raising the puppy. We also cover the associated costs including food, some equipment and healthcare. Puppy Raising is a physically demanding role and will require you to actively look after the puppy including bending and lifting.
As a Puppy Raiser not only do you get to learn a lot about dogs and yourself, you will get to enjoy lots of puppy love and know your effort will make a big difference to someone who is blind or has low vision. All we need is your love and time.
“Raising a Guide Dog puppy is an incredibly rewarding one-of-a-kind experience. All we need from you is your love and time.
When your pup is ready for training
Handing your puppy back can be emotional, but it’s incredibly rewarding to know that the dog you have raised will change someone’s life. You will even have the chance to see your Guide Dog working as it nears the end of its training and attend its graduation event.
Many Puppy Raisers feel so proud of what they’ve achieved and contributed to that they go on to raise more puppies or volunteer in other ways across the organisation.
Being a Puppy Raiser has been very rewarding and I would definitely recommend the experience. I loved watching ‘Jenkins’ grow and learn new things, and the way he improves on his training amazes me.
Who can raise a puppy?
Raising a puppy is a very special commitment that requires an enormous amount of dedication. As a guide to help you decide if it’s right for you, you should be able to answer ‘yes’ to the following questions:
Do you live locally?
Puppy Raisers should be willing to travel to the Bald Hills Training Centre for initial assessments, vet check-ups and handling sessions that may be required. As a Puppy Raiser you will also need to be available regularly to drop your puppy off based on their schedule and attend classes.
Can you dedicate time for training?
Our puppies need a lot of love and time to grow into calm and confident Guide Dogs. A puppy will need your help to be exposed to busy conditions, public transport, car travel, shops and crowds on a regular basis.
Can you provide a safe home environment?
Puppies need a suitable area inside your home to live and sleep, as well as access to an appropriate outdoor toileting area.
Are you over the age of 18?
A primary adult carer should be responsible for the puppy’s training and care, and will be our main point of contact in the program.
Do you have good fitness levels?
Your puppy will be energetic! You will need the energy to keep up with it and manage its physical, emotional and cognitive demands.
If necessary, do you have written approvals?
If you have a rental property, you may need approval from your estate agent. If you will be taking your puppy to work, we require written permission from your employer - this is something our friendly team can assist you with.
Can you be flexible in your availability?
You may be asked to participate in events, attend vet appointments onsite or classes on weekdays with your puppy. You will also need to have a license to drive in Queensland and a registered vehicle.
Do you have access to emails and internet?
As the Puppy Raising program requires online portal access, you will be required to have access to emails and internet. This ensures that you receive all the latest updates, class information and schedules and reminders of key dates and events.
Support for Puppy Raisers
- 24/7 access to the Puppy Raiser portal – include training and health resources
- Group classes and training managed by professional trainers following an internationally acclaimed training program
- Professional puppy educator team to direct and assist
- Onsite veterinarian
- Associated costs including food, some equipment and healthcare covered by Guide Dogs
The application process
Our simple five step application process helps us and you determine whether you’re the paw-fect fit for our Puppy Raiser program.
If you’ve checked the criteria above and think raising a puppy could be for you, click here to register your interest and apply online.
A member of our friendly team will get in touch with you to send additional information and outline the application process.
Orientation and interview
Once your application has been received we will be in touch to discuss any queries and invite you to attend our puppy raising orientation session. This includes a site tour and handling class with one of our beautiful puppies.
Once your application has been approved (including a home and workplace inspection) you will be placed on a waiting list to be matched with a puppy.
Meet your puppy
Once a puppy has been matched to you we will be in touch to confirm the next steps. We will supply all the equipment necessary and will be there to support you along the way.