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Are you interested in becoming a guide dog puppy raiser? I was asked that question a little over 5 years ago while attending the Orange County Pet Expo way back in 2006.
At the beginning of 2006 it was just myself and my rescue dog Linus at the house, little did I know that by the end of the year I would have not only fostered 10+ dogs and puppies from the local shelter, but I’d also embark on the journey of a Guide Dog Puppy Raiser! If you haven’t had a chance you might want to check out our last article on How I Became A Guide Dog Puppy Raiser.
Are You Interested In Becoming A Guide Dog Puppy Raiser?
I’m currently raising my third puppy, Dublin for Guide Dogs of America and I’ve been doing my best to help out with the puppy raising program whenever needed. Recently I was asked to put together a flyer with information about our local Orange County Guide Dogs of America (OCGDA) group. Take a look:
In case you were wondering: Stetson (my first GDA pup) is in the picture along the heading. He’s actually the smear of black pixels at the far right. Future Guide Dogs: Baron is the yellow in the first circle, Yuki is the black Lab in the middle, and that’s Dublin (my third GDA pup) on the far right.
It’s been nearly five years since I started raising my first Guide Dog puppy for Guide Dogs of America (GDA) and I just wanted to put together some helpful hints on how if you’re interested, you can become the next Guide Dog Puppy Raiser for GDA.
Step-by-Step How To Become A Guide Dog Puppy Raiser
This is applicable to Guide Dogs of America and the process while probably very similar is probably slightly different for every guide and service dog organization.
- Before we start raisers must live in the Southern or Central California area. Some parts of Washington can also Puppy Raise for Guide Dogs of America.
- Visit the Guide Dogs of America Website and read as much information as possible about the entire organization.
- After reading through as much of the GDA website as possible if you’re still interested in Puppy Raising fill out the puppy raiser application.
- It can take a while before you get your home interview. At this point you play the waiting game (I waited nearly 3 months and nearly gave up hope), but I’d suggest you look into attending your area group meetings and outings before your home interview. Participation and involvement is a big part of the puppy raising program.
- Go to the Classes, Meetings, and Events Page.
- Find out which meeting site is closest to your home.
- Contact the Area Leader by phone or email and let them know you’d like to attend meetings.
Once you start attending meetings you’ll have the opportunity to meet other puppy raisers, attend puppy outings and trainings, and ask questions. As puppy raisers, one of the coolest (and one of our favorite) parts about raising a Guide Dog puppy is that you have the opportunity to take your puppy most places that the public can go including into grocery stores, movie theaters, shopping malls, and to the office at work (I made sure to get permission from my boss first). Here’s a video we put together showing some of Dublin’s first days at our office:
I hope this short step-by-step guide helped you learn a little bit about becoming a guide dog puppy raiser. Of course if you’re interested in becoming a guide dog puppy raisers for Guide Dogs of America and you still have questions please feel free to leave me a comment in the comment section below or send a message through our contact form.