Join our puppy raising team 

As some of our most passionate volunteers, puppy raisers provide the loving homes that care for our Foundation puppies until the dogs are old enough to enter our certified training programs.  
Puppy raisers play a vital role in the development of these future assistance dogs when taking home an 8-week old pup; caring for, teaching, and socializing them until they are between 14 and 18 months old.

We encourage them to provide common day-to-day socializing opportunities and exposure to new and diverse surroundings.  The puppy raiser will also help teach the puppy basic obedience, such as how to walk on a leash, sit and stay, down, and to come when called.  

A well-socialized puppy will have fewer adjustments to make when it comes back to the Foundation for formal training.
We focus on positive socialization, basic obedience, and molding ideal house manners during the puppy phase.  The pup will accompany the raiser regularly outside of the home as he or she matures and ventures out on at least 5 public outings per week.  We also ask our raisers take their puppy to basic obedience classes held bi-monthly.  The classes allow the puppy to interact with other dogs and gives the puppy raiser the opportunity to talk to other puppy raisers.  
When the dog is at the 14- to 18-month age range, it returns to the Foundation to move ahead with its formal training and life-changing career as a guide or service dog.  While the dog is in for training, the puppy raiser will receive training updates on their dogs progression within our program. 

Once the dog is placed with its handler, the puppy raiser will be invited to attend a Foundation graduation ceremony where they can see first-hand the life-changing difference they made in someone's life.

Join our puppy raising team!

Our volunteer puppy raisers are a diverse group of individuals of varying ages and occupations. We will fully support anyone who is eager to take this on this role.  If you live in one of the regions listed below, please "Apply Now" so that we can begin welcoming you to our team! 

Apply Now

Not sure you can be a full-time puppy raiser? CO-RAISING is another option. Click here to learn more.

New England

  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts

Tri-State Area

  • New York: Long Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens
  • Pennsylvania: Eastern PA, Greater Scranton/Pocono/Wilkes-Barre

Mid-Atlantic Region

  • Northern Virginia
  • Washington, DC
  • Maryland


  • Florida: Ocala, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Clermont
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • Alabama: Auburn University

Weekend Puppy Raising (Prison Program)

Guide Dog Curriculum
Service Dog Curriculum
  • Connecticut: Somers and Hartford areas 
  • Florida: Milton and Pensacola areas
  • Massachusetts: Shirley area
  • Maryland: Westover, Cumberland, Hagerstown areas
  • Pennsylvania: Dallas area

Learn more about being a weekend prison puppy raiser for America's VetDogs.

If you are interested in joining an established puppy raiser group in any of these areas, please email: or call the Puppy Department at 631-930-9061. 

To learn more about our breeding program, CLICK HERE.

Thank you!