Get involved with our dogs and puppies
There are many ways to get involved with our dogs and puppies.
Our dogs might be the furry faces of our organisation, but it’s the dedication of our incredible volunteers that makes their success possible. You could support their journey by becoming a Puppy Raiser, a Boarder or a Bed and Breakfast carer.
Future Guide Dogs require different levels of care and commitment at all stages of their journey, so we are always in need of more generous people to share their time with them.
It takes a lot of time, patience, commitment and love to raise Guide Dogs.
From the time our puppies are born, they begin training to become life-changing Guide Dogs. They rely on lots of special people throughout their journey, and that’s where volunteers like you come in.
Become a Puppy Raiser and give a pup the best possible start.
You could be a Puppy Raiser for a six month period, introducing the pup to all of the environments they will need to be comfortable working in when they are a Guide Dog.
No formal dog training experience is required. We will teach you the skills necessary to raise a pup. Your main priority will be teaching them to be well-behaved pups, expose them to new and different environments and get them ready for their formal Guide Dog training with our trainers.
Many of our Puppy Raisers work full-time in normal everyday jobs. Maybe you work from home, have an accessible workplace or even a flexible schedule. Each potential Puppy Raiser and pup will be assessed case-by-case to ensure the best support for you and your pup.
Our pups will be ready for an adventure by your side and will be excitable as they settle in with you. Just like any puppy, they will need your time and attention as you both settle into a routine.
You’ll also need to travel on-site to the Bald Hills Campus for:
- on-site puppy socialisation (monthly)
- occasional on-site information sessions
- bath and vet appointments
- food and preventative collection.
*Where possible, lessons will be in your home or in your local area to ensure our puppies are trained in a range of environments.
We will provide all the support and associated costs you need while raising a puppy, including food, toys, health requirements etc. All you need to give is your love and time.
Staff from our Puppy Raising Program will be available to answer any questions or offer support with anything you may need. Puppy Raisers can access support from our team by phone or email.
During the puppy classes, you will receive individual support and advice tailored to your puppy.
Puppy boarding is available in the case of an emergency.
While you don’t need to be super fit to be a Puppy Raiser, puppy raising is a physically demanding role with a high degree of bending and lifting. You may need the ability to carry a young puppy up and down stairs (approx. 15kg), maintain a brisk walking pace daily for 30-40 minutes and safely manage up to a 30kg dog.
The short answer is yes! But this will need to be assessed case-by-case, depending on time away, location and safety for the pup. Puppy Raisers just need to check with the Puppy Raising Team for the final okay.
Meet some of our Puppy Raisers
Meet Leesa: Graphic Designer, Art Gallery Owner and Puppy Raiser!
Leesa from Red Hill is one of our more experienced puppy raisers, having just welcomed her seventh pup into her home.
Leesa is a very busy professional, running both her own graphic design business and an art gallery! She is proof you can have both a demanding and rewarding professional life while still maintaining time for puppy love – a combination we are so grateful for here at Guide Dogs.
Meet Carlo: Self-employed apartment resident and long time puppy raiser!
Carlo is a long-time Puppy Raiser for Guide Dogs, having now raised five pups. Volunteering as a second-stage Puppy Raiser, Carlo looks after pups in the six-to-nine-month age range, which he says works well with his lifestyle.
Carlo is a self-employed financial advisor and works from home the majority of the time.
Bed and Breakfast
Looking for a part-time pal? Our unique Bed and Breakfast homestay program is perfect for you.
You’ll host one of our pups in your home during evenings and weekends for up to 20 weeks.
Each weekday morning, you’ll bring the dog to our Bald Hills campus before 7:30am for their full day of training. At 4pm, after their busy day, you’ll collect your pup-in-training, ready to unwind in your cosy home.
Experience the joy of sharing your home with one of our dogs without the full-time commitment and play a vital role in their journey to becoming a Guide Dog.
If you are looking for a weeknight/weekend buddy for up to six months at a time this could be the perfect role for you! These dogs will need to come to the Training Centre at Bald Hills for training each day, and would need to be dropped off by 7am and picked up after 4pm.
Our dogs will receive their formal training while on site with our dedicated trainers and will be taught many things, including impeccable manners and home behaviour (as well as lots of love!)
But a puppy doesn’t stop learning when they come home from training for the day, so we need you to help us out!
We will teach you how to maintain and enforce their training when at home and set our dogs up for sucess in their future careers.
While you don’t need to be super fit to be in this role, you will need to be able to safely manage up to a 30kg dog.
Dog experience? Not required. We will teach you the skills necessary to prepare our pups for their future career as Guide Dogs.
If you’re looking for a new pal with a flexible commitment, dog boarding could be just for you.
Becoming a boarding carer is the most flexible option to volunteer with our dogs, as we look for both long-term and short-term carers who can look after the dogs on an “as needed” basis.
As a boarding carer, you need to be able to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the dog. You will have the support of our team, who will make sure you have all the skills and equipment you need. All expenses including food, equipment, and veterinary visits will be covered by Guide Dogs.
Boarding is a flexible arrangement and timeframes will be arranged on a case by case basis.
As a boarding carer, you need to be able to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the dog. You will need to feed them, give them some exercise and administer medication if required. Some dogs may need to come to the Training Centre at Bald Hills for training each day, and would need to be dropped off by 7am and picked up at 4pm.
We will teach you some basic training techniques, but your main role is to ensure the dog is comfortable, healthy and happy – which they will be when they are with you! Regardless of how long you care for the dog, you will need to spend a large portion of time with them and let them sleep indoors. Most of our dogs should not be left at home alone for more than four hours at a time.
While you don’t need to be super fit to be a Boarder, you will need to be able to safely manage up to a 30kg dog.
Dog experience? Not required. We will teach you the skills necessary to prepare our pups to enter formal training for their future career as guide dogs.
Please note that boarding dogs don’t have public access coats.