Guide Dog Puppy Raising

Sewell Subaru and Guide Dogs for the Blind

When our pups are 8-10 weeks old, they're ready for their first road trip. They say goodbye to their birthplace, our California campus, and embark on the first leg of their journey toward becoming Guide Dogs. 

What do the pups learn while they're in the Puppy Raising Program?

Once in the comfort of their new homes, the pups begin to learn about their environment. They learn basic obedience and good manners, and are socialized to the world. In addition to learning good house behaviors, the pups are exposed to a variety of situations, places and people. They accompany their raisers just about everywhere. Here are a few examples of the places our puppies are socialized:

  • grocery stores
  • school and work
  • restaurants
  • shops and malls
  • trains, planes and automobiles!

Our puppies have the pleasure of living with their raiser families for 14 to 18 months before returning to our school for formal training to become guides.

About Our Organization

Our Mission

Guide Dogs for the Blind provides enhanced mobility to qualified individuals through partnership with dogs whose unique skills are developed and nurtured by dedicated volunteers and a professional staff.

Established in 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind continues its dedication to quality student training services and extensive follow-up support for graduates. Our programs are made possible through the teamwork of staff, volunteers and generous donors. Services are provided to students from the United States and Canada at no cost to them.

Become a Volunteer

Puppy raiser requirements:

You 'll need to understand and agree to guidelines, which include:

  • Joining a local puppy raising club and attend preliminary club meetings. Once you receive your pup, you'll need to continue to attend regularly scheduled club meetings and outings.
  • All members of your household must be committed to raising a puppy.
  • Providing a safe and secure living environment.
  • Keeping your puppy on leash at all times when not in a secure area.
  • Providing daily exercise and socialization.
  • Using GDB-approved training and management techniques when working with your puppy.
  • You need to be willing to travel to meet with Guide Dog representatives for evaluation of your puppy's progress and/or attend training workshops.

If you're interested in being interviewed by a representative - get in touch with us! 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Let's start with the #1 question that our puppy raisers are always asked: Isn't it hard to give the puppies up?

A: The short answer is, of course it is! Puppy raisers do become very attached to their puppies; however, they are comforted with the knowledge that their dogs will go on to enrich people's lives, providing companionship, friendship and comfort, and helping blind people travel safely and confidently as they pursue their goals in life. It is a gift that requires some sacrifice, but teaches a few life lessons along the way; it's not every day that you have such a profound impact on someone's life and can see the immediate effects of your generosity.