Puppy Raisers are volunteers who are crucial to the training of our puppies and the success of the organization. Puppy Raisers socialize our puppies out in public places, teach them appropriate manners, and even learn to teach advanced behaviors. They do this through weekly training classes with our certified trainer who helps you through every step of puppy raising.
- Is it hard to turn in the puppy you have raised?
Many people tell us that they can’t raise because they would get too attached. It’s true you do get attached. The best thing is to keep focused on the end goal: your puppy all grown-up as a working service dog, providing independence, support, confidence, and improved quality of life to someone in need. You will be so proud when you see attend the graduation — and meet your dog’s partner. We will be here to support you through this part of the process as well. Many raisers find such a sense of accomplishment that they raise again and again!
- How long is the commitment to raise a puppy in training?
We typically like to place dogs with their partner between 18 – 24 months old. Most raisers receive a 8-12 week old puppy and have the puppy for 1 ½ years.
- What happens if the puppy is not suited for service dog work?
Since we have several different types of avenues for our dogs to pursue most of our dogs graduate as working dogs. However, we do career change some of the dogs for medical or behavioral issues. Career changed dogs are typically adopted by the puppy raisers. If that is not a possibility, we adopt to approved homes looking for a pet dog.
- What is the financial commitment?
The Puppy Raiser pays for dog food, grooming and basic supplies, and routine veterinary care. NADI is often able to provide financial assistance for catastrophic veterinary expenses. Puppy Raisers are responsible for any property damage done by the puppy while in their care as the puppy should be always be supervised.
- How old do you have to be to become a Puppy Raiser?
We encourage people of all ages to raise a puppy. Minors (under 18) must have a parent or guardian as a co-raiser.
- Can I be a Puppy Raiser if I have a full-time job?
It’s imperative to the puppy’s development that supervision and socialization are provided throughout the day. Puppy Raisers must either have prior approval to bring the puppy to the workplace or provide an alternative for the socialization and care of the puppy during the day.
- What breeds do you use in the program?
We use Labrador and Golden Retrievers.
- Are males/females or Labs/Goldens easier to train?
Every puppy has a unique personality and some puppies are easier than others but we haven’t found one sex or breed is easier than another.
- What is the policy on other dogs/animals in the home?
Most of our Puppy Raisers have other pets. We ask that there are no puppies (under 1 year old) in the home while raising a puppy. All dogs in the home must be friendly.