What is a Puppy Raiser?
A Puppy Raiser is a volunteer who agrees to raise a puppy in their home for Freedom Guide Dogs so that it can one day become a guide dog. At about eight weeks of age the puppy goes to live with the Puppy Raiser for one year to a year and a half. During that time the Puppy Raiser plays a key role in the socialization and development of the puppy which greatly increases its chances of graduating from the guide dog program.
- Raise the puppy to be well-behaved. This means no jumping and no begging.
- The puppy needs to be leash trained. You walk the dog, the dog does not walk you. The puppy should also be able to go to the bathroom on leash (not while on a walk).
- Housebreak the puppy. The crate training method is preferred.
- Socializing the puppy is key. Expose the dog to as much as possible. Take to stores, church, school, around large groups of people, small children and other animals.
- It is required to attend at least one obedience class with your puppy, whether at Freedom Guide Dogs or at another facility.
Puppy Raisers are responsible for paying for dog food during the time they have the puppy. The cost can be used as a tax write-off as it is a donation to a non-profit organization.
What we provide:
FGD Puppy Coat
Freedom Guide Dogs goes to Dr. Jamrosz at the New Hartford Animal Hospital. You can choose to use your local vet.
How to become a Puppy Raiser
Alison Sinnott is the Puppy Raiser Supervisor. She trains our puppies in The Puppy Enrichment Center before they go to the Puppy Raisers’ homes. She also oversees our Puppy Raisers’ work with preparing the pups for formal guide dog training. You can contact Alison directly at Alison@freedomguidedogs.org or contact the Freedom Guide Dogs office to receive your Puppy Raiser Packet in the mail at (315) 822-5132. The packet details everything involved in becoming a Puppy Raiser. It also includes an application form so that you can sign up right away. Please call us if you have any questions. We are always looking for Puppy Raisers and glad to assist you.