|Guide Dogs for the Blind,
Inc.'s mission is helping the blind community by dedicating itself to
providing the best quality training for guide dog puppies, educating
society about Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. and being positive role
models. Volunteer puppy raisers participate in many puppy raising
projects which requires responsibility, dedication and the ability to
encourage young pups to have good manners in public. The puppies are
exposed to a variety of social situations in preparation for their
future formal training as guide dogs.
Puppy raising is an excellent way to have
fun while being involved in community service. Adults and children nine
years and older raise German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Golden
Retriever, and Lab/Golden crossbreed puppies for the Guide Dog program.
These pups have been bred from our specially selected breeding stock.
When they are approximately two months old, the puppies are placed into
the waiting arms of the dedicated raisers who will spend the next year
preparing them for their special destinies.
Guide Dog puppies sleep inside the house
and are members of the family. House breaking and basic manners are
taught at an early age. To prepare them for their future work as guides,
they are exposed to grocery stores, restaurants, schools, malls,
offices, etc. Each raiser is asked to bring their pup to local meetings
with other raisers to work on training techniques.
The dogs are returned to Guide Dogs
campuses when they are between 12 - 18 months old for formal training
with licensed instructors. After approximately five months of
preparation, they are paired with blind or visually impaired students
from throughout the United States and Canada. These students come to our
school and spend up to a month learning to travel with their new Guide
Dogs as teams. Their instruction begins in rural areas and progresses to
busy city streets. When the training is complete, the students and their
dogs are ready to graduate. At the graduation ceremonies, which are open
to the public, puppy raisers present the Guide Dogs to their new
The contribution made by puppy raisers is
paramount to the success of our dogs as guides. Puppy raisers help give
the gift of sight. Guide Dog puppies are available for placement every
information on how to become a puppy raiser, please contact the