Volunteer Puppy Raiser

North West
Unpaid Voluntary Role, Expenses Covered
03 Feb 2022
31 Jul 2022
Animal, Disability
Hours per month
Over 40 hours
Long Term

Puppy Raisers provide a puppy with a vital foundation for its future role as a guide dog. The puppy will live with you in your home until it's 12-16 months old. You will raise and help train the puppy providing it with basic skills and experiences. You must be over 18 to apply, however having children under 18 will not exclude you from becoming a Puppy Raiser. Guide Dogs is a charity which provides a wide range of services to support blind and partially sighted children and adults. We’re here to help people with sight loss live the life they choose.

What You’ll Be Doing:

  • Raise and help prepare a puppy to become a guide dog by following Guide Dogs Puppy Raising for Excellent Partnerships (PREP) programme.
  • Using our guidelines to care for your puppy e.g., providing sufficient exercise.
  • Familiarising a puppy to a wide range of environments.
  • Teaching a puppy to be alone by gradually building up from a few minutes to a maximum of 4 hours.
  • Attending regular puppy classes.
  • Meeting regularly with Guide Dogs representatives to discuss your pup’s development.
  • Completing regular on-line questionnaires to help us monitor puppy progress.
  • In the event of an emergency, ensuring the dog receives veterinary care and Guide Dogs is informed immediately.

Ideally you will:

  • Have time to invest in raising a puppy.
  • Be physically able to handle large breed dogs (around 25-40kg).
  • Have your own car or access to a car.
  • 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.
  • 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 keen to get involved, please contact us for a chat. We are open to suggestions where possible or may be able to suggest an alternative position.

You’ll Get:

  • The satisfaction in knowing you are supporting people with sight loss to live actively, independently, and well.
  • 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.
  • Any pre-agreed expenses related to your volunteering with us in line with our policy. Volunteering for Guide Dogs should never leave you out of pocket.

Training and Support:

At Guide Dogs we recently achieved the Investing in Volunteers certification which means we take volunteering seriously and offer a great level of support and invest in our volunteer’s success. You will have a dedicated volunteer manager/key contact who will help you settle in and support you during your time with us.

This role has approximately 13 hours of training, including:

  • Our bespoke Puppy Raising for Excellent Partnerships (PREP) training to support you at every stage of the puppy’s development.
  • 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.

Application Instructions:

  • You can apply for this volunteer role directly via the Guide Dogs website.
  • The application form should take around 10 minutes
  • You will need details of two suitable referees:
    • who have known you for 2 years or more,
    • are not related to you,
    • do not live at the same address as you.
  • Once complete, a member of the team will be in touch to discuss your application with you and your suitability for the role.

If you would like to get a bit more information before applying please email anna.lucey@guidedogs.org.uk.

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