You see a puppy, a person who is blind sees the world! And, at Guide Dogs for the Blind, this journey begins with volunteers. Our mission can only be accomplished with the help of our valued puppy raising volunteers who usher our puppies down the path to becoming guide dogs. We provide a community of support while you are being paid in unconditional love. This is volunteer service that is both warm, and fuzzy!

Puppy raising sounds like an amazing volunteer opportunity! Tell me more!

What to Expect

  • Puppy raisers are responsible for teaching guide dog puppies good manners and providing socialization experiences for about the first year of the pups’ lives.
  • Puppy raisers receive the pups when they are approximately 8 weeks old. The pups return to one of our campuses for their formal guidework training when they are between 15 and 17 months old.
  • Puppy raisers all belong to puppy raising clubs in their local area. The clubs, which are all led by volunteers and overseen by GDB field staff members, provide a structure and framework for teaching the puppies foundational skills. The clubs meet regularly to exchange ideas and information, work on training techniques, and participate in socialization outings.
  • If/when the pups graduate as guides, puppy raisers are invited to the graduation ceremonies to celebrate the life-changing partnerships they helped create.

Requirements

  • You must join one of our puppy raising clubs, located in 10 states (see locations, directory, and contact information below). You'll need to commit to attending puppy club meetings both prior to receiving a puppy, as well as for the duration of the pup's time with you. 
  • All ages can participate in puppy raising, however primary puppy raisers must be at least 9 years of age.
  • We will need to visit your home to be sure the environment is "puppy ready." 

More to Know

  • GDB's puppy raising program complements many FFA, 4H, home schooling, high school, and college programs.
  • Even if you are not able to commit to raising a puppy full time, there are still other ways to get involved with your local puppy club, such as puppy sitting or co-raising with a fellow volunteer.
  • No prior experience is necessary to become a puppy raiser.

    Where are GDB puppy clubs located?

    Guide Dogs for the Blind has puppy raising clubs throughout 10 Western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. 

    Please note: due to the hands-on nature of our program, we are unable to accommodate puppy raising volunteer opportunities outside of these areas.

    I still have so many questions about raising a guide dog puppy. What else do I need to know?

    I’m ready - sign me up! What do I do next?

    Puppy Raising Club Directory/Contact Forms

    In the directory below, click on the location nearest you to be put in contact with the puppy club in your area. They will provide all of the information on how to get involved, and how to officially apply. We can't wait to meet you!

    Please note: due to the hands-on nature of our program, we are unable to accommodate puppy raising volunteer opportunities outside of these areas.

    Already a current puppy raiser?

    Here's the link to the puppy raising portal login page, where you can access forms, reports, documents, etc.

    I'm a new puppy raiser - how do I create a puppy raiser login account? 

    Please check your email for our Welcome letter, which contains instructions for how to set up your puppy raiser login account, and more!

    Missing your Welcome letter? Please be sure to check you SPAM filters...

    Need more help or still have questions?

    Please contact the Puppy Raising Department at ipuppy@guidedogs.com.