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Raising a Guide Dog Puppy

as a hobby

Raising a guide dog puppy is not only a rewarding experience, but also an act of kindness and generosity that can change someone’s life for the better.

Raising a guide dog puppy is a rewarding and fulfilling hobby that can make a positive difference in someone’s life. You will have the opportunity to train, socialize and care for a puppy that will eventually become a loyal companion for a person with visual impairment. To get started, you need to contact a reputable guide dog organization and apply to become a volunteer puppy raiser.

Helpful content to start raising a guide dog puppy as a hobby

We aim to provide accurate information, but errors might be found. Always exercise judgment and discretion.


Short visual inspiration.

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YouTube | What does it take to raise a guide dog puppy? – BBC News
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YouTube | How Puppies Train To Be Guide Dogs
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YouTube | Puppy Raising | Episode 4 | The Journey of a Guide Dog
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YouTube | A Day in the Life of a Puppy Raiser | The Wonderful & Emotional Journey


Play an episode while exploring the page.

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Spotify | Episode 1: Introduction

Not every dog can become a guide dog. They must have a calm and confident personality, a high level of intelligence and trainability, a strong work ethic and motivation, and a good health and physical condition. They must also be able to adapt to different situations and environments, and to bond with their owners.


Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Puppy raiser: A volunteer who raises a puppy for a guide dog school from about 8 weeks to 14-18 months of age. They are responsible for providing socialization, basic obedience training, and love to the puppy.
  • Puppy starter: A volunteer who takes care of a puppy for a guide dog school for the first few weeks or months until they are ready to be placed with a puppy raiser.
  • Puppy sitter: A volunteer who temporarily takes care of a puppy for a guide dog school when the puppy raiser is unavailable or needs a break.
  • Puppy club: A group of puppy raisers and sitters who meet regularly to share experiences, learn from each other, and participate in outings and events with their puppies.
  • Puppy counselor: A staff member or experienced volunteer who mentors and supports the puppy raisers and sitters in their area. They also evaluate the puppies’ progress and provide feedback and guidance to the puppy raisers and sitters.
  • Guide dog school: An organization that breeds, trains, and matches guide dogs with visually impaired people. They also provide ongoing support and services to the guide dog teams throughout their working life.
  • Guide dog instructor: A staff member who trains the guide dogs and teaches the visually impaired people how to work with them. They also conduct home visits and follow-ups to ensure the success of the guide dog teams.
  • Guide dog team: A pair of a guide dog and a visually impaired person who work together as a unit. They develop a bond of trust and communication that enables them to navigate safely and independently.

How to start raising a guide dog puppy as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

Raising a guide puppy is not an ordinary hobby. It requires dedication, responsibility, and emotional resilience. Before you decide to take on this challenge, you should do extensive research, read guides, and watch videos (and maybe a movie). Once you have a clear idea of what it entails, you should visit a local guide dog organization for further consultation and advice.


Get read(y).


Step-by-step tutorials.


Further reading.


Go-tos for information.

By raising a guide dog puppy, you can enjoy the benefits of having a dog in your home, such as companionship, fun, exercise, socialization, and structure. You can also learn new skills and meet new people who share your passion for dogs and volunteering. You can experience the pride and joy of seeing your puppy graduate and become a guide dog.


Nothing like a film for inspiration.

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YouTube | Pick of the Litter – Official Trailer
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YouTube | Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog – Official trailer


Get a clue.

What are the requirements to become a guide dog puppy raiser?

You need to be at least 18 years old, have a suitable home environment, be able to provide care and supervision for the puppy, have access to a car, and be willing to follow the guidelines and instructions of the guide dog organization. You also need to have the consent of your landlord if you rent your property, and the agreement of your family or housemates if you live with others.

How long do I have to raise the puppy for?

You will typically raise the puppy from about 8 weeks to 14-18 months of age, depending on the guide dog organization and the puppy’s progress. During this time, you will be responsible for socializing, training, and loving the puppy. You will also need to attend regular puppy classes and meetings with your volunteer manager or puppy counselor.

What kind of training do I have to provide for the puppy?

You will have to teach the puppy basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, come, down, and heel. You will also have to expose the puppy to different environments and situations, such as public transport, shops, restaurants, crowds, noises, etc. You will have to use positive reinforcement methods and follow the guide dog organization’s standards and policies. You will receive training and support from the guide dog organization throughout your puppy raising journey.

What are the benefits of raising a guide dog puppy?

Raising a guide dog puppy can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. You will have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life by providing them with a guide dog that can enhance their independence and mobility. You will also enjoy the companionship and fun of having a puppy in your home. You will learn new skills and meet new people who share your passion for dogs and volunteering.

What are the challenges of raising a guide dog puppy?

Raising a guide dog puppy can also be challenging and demanding. You will have to commit a lot of time and energy to care for and train the puppy. You will have to deal with some common puppy problems, such as chewing, biting, barking, jumping, etc. You will also have to cope with the emotional difficulty of giving up the puppy when he or she is ready for advanced training. You will also have to follow some rules and restrictions that may limit your lifestyle or activities.

Do I get financial support for raising the guide puppy?

Yes, you do. The guide dog organization will cover the cost of food, veterinary care, and other expenses related to the puppy’s development. You will not have to pay anything for raising the puppy. However, you will still need to have some financial resources to cover your own costs, such as transport, equipment, and personal items.

Can I meet my guide puppy after giving it away?

It depends on the guide dog organization and the owner of the guide dog. Some guide dog organizations may allow you to keep in touch with your puppy and their owner after they graduate and become a guide dog. Some owners may also welcome your contact and involvement in their lives. However, some guide dog organizations or owners may prefer to limit or avoid contact with the puppy raisers for various reasons. You should respect their wishes and boundaries, and understand that giving up your puppy is part of the process of raising a guide dog.


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