Guide Dogs of Texas relies on its volunteer puppy raisers to take our puppies into their homes and help raise them as they prepare to become guide dogs.
Being a puppy raiser is a big commitment, but is fun and rewarding. However, it is essential for the puppy to be with you throughout the day, whether at home or at your job. You will also be responsible for taking your puppy on a daily training and socialization walk. Puppies need to be introduced to all the social settings that a visually impaired person might encounter in his daily life. These settings include public transportation, malls, busy streets, and offices.
You are also responsible for teaching them basic commands, obedience, and oversee their potty training. As you can imagine, puppies are puppies; they are playful, like to chew and need to be housebroken. Of course, our puppy program managers will meet with you regularly to provide training and feedback.
Incidentally puppy raisers cover the puppy’s expenses that they believe they can afford. Occasionally, funding is available from Guide Dogs of Texas if necessary.
Many people often wonder what happens if one of the dogs they are helping raise doesn’t graduate to the next level of training and has to leave the program. Please know that this does not mean that you – or the dog – failed. Guide Dogs of Texas will ensure that the dog has a forever home specifically tailored to match his needs. In special situations, you may be able to rehome your puppy as a pet. We are proud of each and every puppy whether they are a guide dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, therapy dogs, or great pets who enrich the lives of their families.