Puppy Raiser (formerly called a Puppy Walker)
Suitable for -
In this role, you will be providing a puppy with a vital foundation for its future role as a guide dog. This is a full-time volunteering opportunity as a puppy will live with you in your home for around 12-16 months.
What you’ll be doing
We rely on volunteers like you to help us improve the lives of people with sight loss. In this role your support will include:
- Following Guide Dogs Puppy Raising for Excellent Partnerships (PREP) programme, to raise and prepare a puppy to become a guide dog.
- Using our guidelines to care for your puppy e.g., providing sufficient exercise.
- Familiarising a puppy to a wide range of environments.
- Teaching a puppy to be alone by gradually building up from a few minutes to a maximum of 4 hours.
- Attending regular puppy classes.
- Meeting regularly with Guide Dogs representatives to discuss your pup’s development.
- Completing regular on-line questionnaires to help us monitor puppy progress.
Volunteering is a two-way street, so in return for your time you will get a dedicated volunteer manager/key contact who will help you settle in and support you during your time with us. You’ll also get:
- The satisfaction in knowing you are supporting people with sight loss to live actively, independently, and well.
- The challenge and reward of seeing a puppy develop in your home.
- The opportunity to learn and develop your understanding in dog body language, learning theory, the human animal bond and the life of a guide dog.
Training and support
This role has 13 hours of training and then you’ll be ready to go! These modules include:
- Our bespoke Puppy Raising for Excellent Partnerships (PREP) training to support you at every stage of the puppy’s development.
- Ongoing training both virtually and face to face as part of the role.
If you have questions about the training requirements, we can answer these at your interview along with any other support or accessibility needs you may have.
Volunteering for Guide Dogs should never leave you out of pocket. We’ll make sure we pay any expenses related to your volunteering with us in line with our policy.
Ideally you will:
- Have time to invest in raising a puppy.
- Be physically able to handle large breed dogs (around 25-40kg).
- Have your own car or access to a car.
- Have your own home or written permission to have a dog in the home.
- Have access to a secure area where the puppy could go to the toilet during the day.
- Be able to access online content and training materials (you will need your own email address).
If you don’t feel you tick every box but are sure this role is the one for you, please drop us a message and tell us why. We’re open to suggestions and happy to chat with you to find out what’s possible!
What we need from you
This role does not require a Criminal Disclosure check.
We are working hard to make sure anyone who wants to can volunteer for Guide Dogs, but at the moment we have a minimum age of 18 for this role.
We can’t do this without brilliant people like you to help us. Inclusion is at the heart of what we do and we believe in equal opportunities and we celebrate diversity. We’re a person-centred organisation which means we put individuals, their needs and wellbeing first.