Starting your puppy raising journey begins with choosing an organization! With so many great organizations to choose from, it can be difficult to know which is the best fit for you. Pawsible has compiled a few tips to help guide you to your decision.
Research Assistance Dog Organizations
Research organizations that offer puppy raising programs and determine what mission you feel the most passionate about. Does providing independence for the visually impaired speak to you? Or helping veterans with PTSD? Maybe helping provide a sense of comfort to families with autistic children is what peaks your interest.
Determine the local groups in your area
Pawsible’s Puppy Raising Map is designed to help potential puppy raisers identify the local groups in their area. It is not a comprehensive list, but is a great starting point and is constantly being updated.
Learn about the puppy raising program
No two organizations are alike when it comes to their puppy raising programs. This allows for many different people to find a program that works best for their lifestyle and needs. Factors that you should consider are:
What is the application process in becoming a puppy raiser?
What is the length of time you will have your dog?
Time commitment required for puppy training meetings/classes and any other obligations.
How much experience do you have training puppies? What training do you receive before receiving your first puppy?
What kind of financial obligation will you be responsible for while the puppy is in your care?
Not every dog is meant to be a service dog, sometimes they are best suited to be a beloved pet. In that case, will you be able to adopt them if you are interested?
Speak to the organizations! Reach out and ask questions that weren’t covered on their website.
Find puppy raisers associated with the organizations you are interested in via social media or the Pawsible community to learn about their experience firsthand.
Attend a local meeting to understand how they are run and what training methods are used. This is another great opportunity to ask questions and meet the puppy raisers who you will be working with!