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Hero Dogs

Service Dog (Veterans), Facility Dog, Therapy Dog, Military Family Support Dog

Lab/Golden Crosses, Goldens, Labs

Assistance Dogs Interanational

Hero Dogs

DC Metro Area

Within 50 miles of Brookeville, MD


Org provides:

  • Crate

  • Basic puppy supplies kit

  • Basic grooming supplies kit

  • Any necessary specialized training equipment

  • Flea & Tick Preventatives

  • Heartworm Preventatives

  • Pre-approved Veterinary Care

Raisers pay for:

  • Food

  • Toys

Supplies & Financial 


Basic Skills: 

Basic obedience commands, Socialization, Loose leash walking, Potty training, Public access behavior, Self-control around distractions, Grooming

Advanced Cues:

Advanced obedience, Retrievals, Back, "Say Hello", Paws Up, settling on cue, and more. 

Training Responsibilities

  • Read the detailed information on the puppy raiser page.

  • Fill out a volunteer application.

  • Fill out a separate puppy raiser/puppy sitter application (a link will be sent to you after you fill out the volunteer application).

  • Attend a puppy program orientation session (see the event list for the next scheduled orientation).

  • Read the puppy raiser manual (a link will be sent to you after you attend orientation).

  • Complete a home visit (will be scheduled after you attend orientation).

  • Attend two hands-on dog handling training classes (will be scheduled after your home visit).

  • Agree to abide by all of the rules for and responsibilities of puppy raisers.

  • Volunteer as a puppy sitter at least once


  • Attend quarterly meetings of all puppy raisers (takes the place of training class that week)

  • Participate in quarterly one-on-one check-ins with dog training staff

  • Attend training class bi-weekly in Brookeville, MD

  • Attend two structured outings per month 

Time Commitment

Dogs get spayed/neutered after they turn a year old. Though, the specific age is different for all dogs due to health and if they're a potential breeder.


  • Flat Collar

  • Gentle Leader

  • Harness (Case by Case basis) 

Training Equipment

There is a puppy raiser manual, but all new skills are introduced in puppy classes. The Puppy Program Manager demos new skills and chats about the steps in class where raisers get the chance to practice and ask questions. There are weekly goals for the first 4 weeks with a HD puppy.

Training Guidance

Puppy raisers drop off their dogs at HQ, only one dog is turned in at a time. Raisers are told at least a month in advance of the dog's move-in date. Raisers get to talk with the trainers at drop-off and receive quarterly updates from the trainers. Upon drop-off, raisers get an appreciation gift.


Hero Dogs has graduation once per year and it is open to the public. If puppy raisers have a dog that is graduating, they are invited and recognized at graduation. Everyone who was involved with the dogs graduating (sponsors, donors, breeders, raisers, etc.) is able to chat with the dog's new handler, learn more about their job, receive a graduation gift, and are recognized on stage with the dog. 


Due to the smaller size of the organization and the limited radius Hero Dogs has, they're able to provide so much more support to volunteers. Puppy Raisers have bi-weekly classes, two outings per month, quarterly check-ins, and a quarterly meeting so that staff is able to check in with them often! They are able to reach their puppy program manager by phone or email at any point to ask questions, arrange for a meeting, or anything else they may need!

Hero Dogs does their best to find a job for every dog in their program, they have an 86% success rate due to the wide range of opportunities they have for placements (service, facility, skilled home companion, and therapy programs).


 To gather the most up to date and accurate information about an organization it is best to contact them directly. Pawsible is not partnered with all listed organizations and does not formally endorse every listed organization.

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