You will be providing a puppy with a vital foundation for its future role as a guide dog. This is a full-time volunteering opportunity as a puppy will live with you in your home for around 12-16 months. It should be noted that although it is possible for another Puppy Raiser to look after a dog on your behalf for short periods of time that this may not always be possible. Consideration should be given to your future plans such as holidays abroad.
“It’s so rewarding to know that the dog will go on to help people with sight loss gain independence and freedom.” – Chris, Puppy Raiser
- We rely on volunteers like you to help us improve the lives of people with sight loss. In this role your support will include:
Developing, caring and providing for the needs of one of our puppies using Positive Reinforcement Techniques and following Guide Dogs Puppy Raising for Excellent Partnerships (PREP) programme
- Familiarising a puppy to a wide range of environments including shops and outdoor off lead exercise areas in all climates and seasons.
- Teaching a puppy it’s ok to be left alone by gradually building up from a few minutes to a maximum of 4 hours
- Attending regular puppy classes
- Regularly meeting with Guide Dogs representatives to discuss your pup’s development
- Completing regular on-line questionnaires to help us monitor puppy progress
Ideally you will:
- Be able to handle large breed dogs (around 25-40kg)
- Have access to a car on a weekly basis for training and vet visits
- Have your own home or written permission to have a dog in the home
- Have access to a secure area where the puppy could go to the toilet during the day, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night
- Be able to access online content and training materials (you will need your own email address)
If you don’t feel you tick every box but are sure this role is the one for you, please drop us a message and tell us why. We’re open to suggestions and happy to chat with you to find out what’s possible!
Volunteering is a two-way street, so in return for your time you will get;
- A dedicated volunteer manager/key contact who will help you settle in and support you during your time with us.
- The challenge and reward of seeing a puppy develop in your home.
- The opportunity to learn and develop your understanding in dog body language, learning theory, the human animal bond and the life of a Guide Dog.
Volunteering for Guide Dogs should never leave you out of pocket. We’ll make sure we pay any expenses related to your volunteering with us in line with our policy.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the role further before applying please email volunteer coordinator Aaron Puckrin at email@example.com. Thank you.
Organisation aims and objectives
Our ambition is a future where every person with sight loss has the confidence and support they need to live their lives to the full.
Availability: any day, any time.
Frequency and commitment details
Raising a future Guide Dog puppy can take as long as 24 months. Any potential volunteer must be prepared to commit for this duration.
- Experience required: No previous experience is necessary to become a volunteer Puppy Raiser for Guide Dogs. All training is provided however applicants should be able to handle a large dog (Labrador, Golden Retriever and German Shepherds and their crosses). Your own home or written permission from your landlord is necessary as is a secure outdoor space for the puppy.
- Travel details: Travel to Guide Dogs training sessions and to the vets will be necessary, locations may vary.
- Minimum age: 18
- Expenses paid: Yes
- Expenses details: Pre-agreed expenses will be paid in line with the organisations expenses policy.
- Training details: This role has 13 hours of training and then you’ll be ready to go! These modules include: • Foundation training on dog body language and communication • Ongoing training both virtually and face to face as part of the role If you have questions about the training requirements, we can answer these at your interview along with any other support or accessibility needs you may have.