Ever think of getting involved in training guide dogs? Did you even know you could? Well, you can. There are puppy raising programs available to let people get involved in raising guide dogs. Those that do say it’s one of the most rewarding experiences they’ve ever had.
How it works
You will get your puppy when it is around eight weeks old. They will go back for formal training when they are between 13 and 15 months old. You job is to teach your puppy good manners and some basic obedience. You can even have other pets already in your home. Puppy raising is a wonderful gift that can be passed on and make a difference in the lives of other people.
Support and guidance
All puppy raisers will get continued support and guidance. They will first join their local puppy raising club where they can mingle with the other puppy raisers and share ideas and learn. They can work on their puppy training techniques and take part in socialization outings. The payoff is at the end when they get to attend the graduation ceremonies and present the dogs they trained and raised to their new owners.
After the grown puppies get back from their puppy raising homes they’re ready to start learning the tools of their trade. They learn to become more than just well-behaved dogs or meticulously socialized dogs. They become professionals. They’re ready to begin a career that will change the life of the owner who is fortunate enough to get them. They are trained for a couple of months by skilled instructors. They learn to safely guide a person through the complex obstacles known as ‘pedestrian travel.’
Become a walker
Another way to get involved is to become a puppy walker. You work with a guide dog in your home from the time it’s six weeks old to 14 months. You could even become a boarder who gives the dogs a ‘bed and breakfast’ atmosphere during their training. You could also volunteer as a dog and puppy driver, helping to transport the dogs to where they need to go. If you happen to live close-by to a training school, you could also help take care of the breeding stock, the mom and dad dogs.
If you have any kind of skills that you believe the guide dogs could benefit from, there are programs out there waiting to hear from you. Search online to find out where your talents will benefit the most. Helping to train guide dogs is a very rewarding and open endeavor. People from all walks of life are making a difference by getting involved with guide dog training.