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Two young ladies chatting and laughing. On the left is a volunteer puppy raiser with a black Lab guide dog puppy, and on the right is a GDB client with her black Lab guide dog.

Puppy Raising

Raise a Puppy, Change a Life!

Are you inspired by our mission to help people who are blind or visually impaired gain greater independence? Are you looking for a fun and meaningful service project? Did you watch Pick of the Litter on Disney+ and want to learn more? Whatever your motivation, raising a puppy is a rewarding volunteer opportunity that can change many lives – including your own!

What is Puppy Raising?

You see a puppy, a person who is blind sees the world! Volunteer puppy raisers receive a pup when they are approximately 8 weeks old and will teach them house manners, provide socialization experiences, and prepare them for their future career as a guide dog, breeder, or K9 Buddy! Each pup will return to one of our two campuses for formal guidework training when they are approximately 15 months of age. Guide Dogs for the Blind will support you throughout the entire puppy raising process, step by step!

A group of six puppy raisers kneeling next to the guide dog puppies that they are raising. A group of six puppy raisers kneeling next to the guide dog puppies that they are raising.

Let's Have Fun!

This is a volunteer service project that is both warm and fuzzy! Not only will you receive unconditional love and joy while helping a puppy on its journey to service, you will also be invited to celebrate if and when a puppy you raise becomes a guide dog, breeder, or K9 Buddy! You’ll even become an ambassador for Guide Dogs for the Blind, as you socialize the pup within your community!

What it takes.

No prior experience is necessary. Puppy raising volunteers can be any age, whether you’re 9 or 90. Families are great too! Puppy raisers are attentive learners, adaptable in different situations, and know that their effort and hard work will contribute to the puppy's potential. Due to the hands-on, social aspect of our training, there must be a puppy club in your area in order for you to be involved. Most importantly, you must love puppies, and enjoy being of service!

A puppy raising community field representative walking with a puppy raiser and guide dog puppy. A puppy raising community field representative walking with a puppy raiser and guide dog puppy.

Join the club!

All puppy raisers belong to one of our puppy raising clubs, located in these 10 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Puppy raisers are required to attend club meetings before and during the puppy's time in your home. Led by volunteers and overseen by GDB field staff members, clubs meet regularly to work on training techniques, exchange ideas and information, participate in socialization outings, and club events.

Work with the best!

Although becoming a puppy raiser is a serious commitment, you don't have to do it alone! As the leading guide dog school in North America, we’ll assign you a regional Puppy Raising Field Manager to ensure your house is puppy ready, make an occasional visit, and provide all the support you and other club members need along the way!

Eager to get started?

Puppy raising interest form

Already raising a puppy?

Puppy raising communities

Still have questions?

Please contact Guide Dogs for the Blind's Puppy Raising Department at [email protected].

Looking to participate in other ways?

You can get involved with your local puppy club in other ways: help onboard new volunteers, participate in puppy sitting, consider co-raising a puppy with a fellow volunteer, or make a donation to Guide Dogs for the Blind.