What is Puppy Raising?
Puppy Raisers are volunteers who raise and train puppies to be assistance dogs. Puppy raising programs are organized and operated by Assistance Dog Organizations who provide fully trained assistance dogs to individuals in need.
Assistance Dog is a broad term for working dogs who provide a service for their paired human. Explore common types of assistance dogs on our blog post, Dogs and their Jobs.
CAN I GET A FREE PUPPY?
Sadly no, but that would be a sweet deal!
As a puppy raiser, you are responsible for the puppy as if it was your own, but it's not. The puppy is owned by the organization that you volunteer for, most likely a nonprofit.
The organization you raise for, what we often call the parent organization, provides the puppy and typically organizes your and the puppy's training. They are also the one that ensures the puppy is properly bred, trained, and healthy to one day be an assistance dog!
Many parent organizations have local puppy raising groups or chapters through which volunteers gather and organize. This is also how the volunteer puppy raisers are trained, the parent organization keeps tabs on the puppy's progress, and through which most puppy raising in the United States occurs.
PUPPY RAISING BASICS
Volunteer puppy raising varies between organizations, local groups, and even by person! But when it comes down to it, these are the key elements of puppy raising:
As you can imagine, a lot goes into puppy raising and raising a puppy yourself! It's a big commitment, but also a very rewarding one too. The puppy kisses make it very worth it!