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DO I HAVE TO HAVE DOG TRAINING EXPERIENCE TO RAISE A GUIDE DOG PUPPY?

  • No experience is needed, but is a helpful background. The Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) method of puppy raising is a uniform curriculum based on ongoing science of what produces successful dogs. It is all positive reinforcement of desired behaviors rather than correction of negative behaviors. Our teaching is stacked from simple to complex commands. We all practice identical methods, so that whoever is handling the dog in the GDB community can seamlessly command the dog with the same words for the same responses.

THIS SOUNDS LIKE A LARGE COMMITMENT. ARE THERE ANY OPTIONS?

  • There are options of puppy raising. 

    • Raise a puppy from 8-10 weeks of age until recall for formal training, typically around 15 months of age.

    • Co-raise a puppy with another member of the club. You and the co-raiser can decide if the time is split 50:50 or a different amount of time. All co-raising agreements are at the discretion of Carmen Moyer.

    • Start a puppy. Commit to raising the puppy for a short amount of time, such as 3 months. 

    • Raise a transfer puppy. This puppy has started in another home and for a variety of reasons, the CFR decides the puppy may thrive in a different home. This could be a puppy 3 months to 18 months old.

    • Be a puppy sitter for the club. This is a valuable member in our community. All puppies must experience other homes and handlers, preferably once a month. Vacations and special events not appropriate to take puppy require us to find a puppy sitter. A side note: it is never okay to have anyone outside GDB raisers care for our puppies.

WHAT ARE MY COSTS IN RAISING A GUIDE DOG PUPPY?

  • You will provide food, bowls, grooming tools, toys

  • GDB provides a leather leash for your 1st puppy; toothbrush/toothpaste, ear cleaning solution for each puppy. GDB pays vet expenses.

  • Our club provides a web leash, tie down cable, crate, ex-pen, gentle leader, and green coat.

WHAT AM I EXPECTED TO TEACH THE PUPPY AND WHERE DO I GET THIS INFORMATION?

  • Puppy raisers teach the puppy to have excellent house manners, relieving on command and on leash, socialization skills in a variety of public settings.

  • These skills are taught through positive reinforcement games, meetings, workshops, 1:1 tutoring, GDB online manual with many You Tube Videos.

  • We do NOT teach the specifics of guiding a visually impaired person. This is done by professionals when the puppy returns to campus.

DO ALL PUPPIES BECOME GUIDE DOGS?

  • No, not every puppy has the temperament to be a guide dog.. The CFR and trainers on campus decide each puppy's future. Puppies that are "career changed" go on to other service organizations when appropriate or are adopted as pets.