Join our Puppy Raising Team
Puppy Raisers are passionate, dedicated volunteers who foster our puppies on their way to becoming guide dogs & service dogs. We rely on volunteers to provide experience and socialization for our puppies in real-world settings. 

Our pups begin their journeys in raiser homes at 8-12 weeks old, then return to our campus at 14-18 months to begin formal training.

Formal training with a Certified Instructor takes around 3-4 months to complete. Once done, a guide dog will be matched with someone in need. 

No prior experience required. Our dedicated team of puppy advisors & staff will be there to support you every step of the way.

Apply Today!
Main Goals of a Puppy Raiser
  • Confidence building
  • Socialization
  • Basic cues 
  • Shaping ideal house manners 
  • Establish a relieving routine
  • Attend one group puppy class per month 
  • Submit online behavior reports every 2 months

The journey of a future assistance dog is one that touches countless lives and is full of new experiences, sights, relationships, and more. 

Not ready for a long-term commitment?
Become a Puppy Camp!

Puppy camps provide the same socialization experiences as full-time puppy raisers but are set up for shorter periods of time.
A 'puppy camp can take be a few days, weeks, or months, depending on the need. 

Puppy camp positions are available across the country. 

Apply today!

Weekend Puppy Raising (Prison Puppy Program) 

Through our sister nonprofit organization America's VetDogs, incarcerated individuals help us raise future assistance dogs in prisons along the east coast. Puppies live in the prison Monday-Friday and on the weekends, we rely on 'Weekend Puppy Raisers' to take the pups into their home and help expose them to experiences they don't see in the prison. Weekend Puppy

Raising opportunities are available in:

  • Maryland:
    • Cumberland
    • Hagerstown - wait list 
    • Jessup - wait list 
  • Maine:
    • Thomaston
    • Warren areas
  • Connecticut:
    • Somers
    • Suffield areas 
  • Florida:
    • Milton
    • Pensacola
  • Massachusetts:
    • Shirley
    • Bridgewater
    • Norfolk
    Pennsylvania: Dallas

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

What to expect as a Puppy Raiser?

  • You’ll use Positive Reinforcement curriculum to mold the puppy’s basic skillset
  • Our professional Puppy Advisors will support you through the pup's journey
  • You are permitted to have dogs or other pets already in your home
  •  Puppy raisers are only responsible for purchasing the pup's food
  • No prior dog training experience is needed
  • You’ll provide regular day to day socialization opportunities 
  • All necessary supplies are provided by the Foundation
  • Cost of veterinary care is covered by the Foundation                          
Embark on a co-puppy raising journey
For those who are interested in puppy raising, but are worried about the commitment, co-puppy raising may be for you!

Grab your closest friend, family member, colleague, classmate, etc. and join forces to split the time of the puppy raising journey. The pup will spend time with each person independently but will be raised the same as they would with a full-time raiser.

College Puppy Raising 
Tomorrow's Leaders, Raising Tomorrow's Guiding Paws

We are thrilled to work with colleges and universities across the country to raise future assistance dogs. These groups provide a great environment and an unforgettable experience for students. Interested in starting a puppy raising group on your campus? Email
a few current campus groups include:

"I love watching young pups grow into well-mannered dogs. It is such a sense of satisfaction & warms my heart. I feel I contribute to enrich the lives of others. I love the lasting friendships that I have made over the years with fellow volunteers. I have learned so much about dog training but more importantly, I have learned a small component of what many sight impaired & disabled veterans are confronted with daily." - Patricia, volunteer puppy raiser who has raised 22 assistance dogs


Questions? We've got answers! 
See below for frequently asked questions
Puppy Raising FAQ's