Regardless of the quality of breeding, a pup has little chance of becoming a guide dog unless it is raised in a home and accustomed to playing with children, meeting strangers, having the opportunity to be near traffic and go through an obedience course. Pups are placed into homes at 7 to 10 weeks of age. They will be kept in the home until they are 12 to 14 months of age or until requested back by Pilot Dogs, Inc. We will supply a leash, training collar, and a brush. We provide a Puppy Raiser Manual and a Health Card for each pup, to be kept updated while the Puppy Raiser has the pup.
Pilot Dogs will reimburse your veterinarian for medical services rendered with the pup, as well as a pre-approved obedience course. We ask that the raiser assume the cost of the dog food.
The pup is raised in the home as a pet, much as you would your own dog. This will have a very important effect on its future as a dog guide. Housebreaking is normally an easy job at this age. We ask that the pup become accustomed to walking on a leash at early age and that it has frequent opportunity to take walks. The pup should be socialized and exposed as much as possible. To help expose the pup to traffic (large and small), it can be walked around busy streets, neighborhoods and parking lots. Socializing the pup with men, women, and children can be done by walking around parks and neighborhoods. We do ask that the pup not be taken into any buildings; this training is not necessary while they are growing up. This training will be done when they are returned to us for their formal training. The pup should be exposed to other animals in the area, even on a farm, whenever possible. We want the pup to become accustomed to seeing these animals so that it will be controllable around them without any negative reaction.
Please go to the link below to check out a video some of our Raiser's put together about the Puppy Raising experience: