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A large group of volunteer puppy raisers of all ages pose for a group photo with the puppies they are raising.

Puppy Raising Volunteers

Raise a Puppy, Change a Life!

Are you inspired by Guide Dogs for the Blind's mission to help people who are blind or visually impaired gain greater independence, confidence, and inclusion? Are you looking for a fun and meaningful service project? Did you watch the Pick of the Litter documentary or Disney+ docuseries and want to learn more? Whatever your motivation, raising a guide dog puppy, being a puppy sitter or club volunteer, is a rewarding opportunity that can change many lives – including your own!

Join our next Hybrid Puppy Raising Cohort!

We are currently enrolling new hybrid puppy raising volunteers in the Portland, Oregon area. Learn more about this project today!

(For those in the Portland, Oregon area interested in our club-based puppy raising model, continue scrolling below.)

What is Puppy Raising?

You see a puppy, a person who is blind sees the world! Volunteer puppy raisers receive a pup when they are approximately 8 weeks old and will teach them house manners, provide socialization experiences, and prepare them for their future career as a guide dog, breeder, or K9 Buddy. Each pup will return to one of our two campuses for formal guidework training when they are approximately 15 months of age. Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) will support you throughout the entire puppy raising process, step by step!

A group of six puppy raisers kneeling next to the guide dog puppies that they are raising. A group of six puppy raisers kneeling next to the guide dog puppies that they are raising.

Let's Have Fun!

This is a volunteer service project that is both warm and fuzzy! Not only will you receive unconditional love and joy while helping a puppy on its journey to service, you will also be invited to celebrate if and when a puppy you raise becomes a guide dog, breeder, or K9 Buddy. You’ll even become an ambassador for Guide Dogs for the Blind as you socialize the pup within your community.

What It Takes

No prior experience is necessary. Puppy raising volunteers can be any age, whether you’re 9 or 90. Families are great too! Puppy raisers are attentive learners, adaptable in different situations, and know that their effort and hard work will contribute to the puppy's potential. Due to the hands-on, social aspect of our training, there must be a puppy club in your area in order for you to be involved. Most importantly, you must love puppies, and enjoy being of service.

A puppy raising community field representative walking with a puppy raiser and guide dog puppy. A puppy raising community field representative walking with a puppy raiser and guide dog puppy.

Join the club

Puppy raising volunteers belong to one of our puppy raising clubs, located in these 9 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Puppy raising volunteers are encouraged to attend club activities before and during the puppy's time in your home. Led by volunteer leaders and overseen by GDB field staff members, clubs meet regularly to work on training techniques, exchange ideas and information, participate in socialization outings, and club events.

Work with the best

Although becoming a volunteer puppy raiser is a commitment, you won't do it alone. As the leading guide dog school in North America, you will have the support of a professional regional Puppy Raising Field Manager providing you with all the expertise and insights you will need along the way, both in-person and virtually.

Eager to get started?

Puppy Raising Interest Form

Already raising a puppy?

Puppy Raising Communities

Still have questions?

Please contact Guide Dogs for the Blind's Puppy Raising Department at [email protected].

Looking to participate in other ways?

You can get involved with your local puppy club in other ways: help onboard new volunteers, participate in puppy sitting, consider co-raising a puppy with a fellow volunteer, or make a donation to Guide Dogs for the Blind.