Puppy Raising Q&A

Where does Guide Dogs of America get its dogs?
We get our dogs through our own breeding program.

Can I be a puppy raiser if my employer will not allow me to have the dog at work?
It is vital to our program that guide dog puppies are actively involved in day-to-day activities. Anyone who is working full time away from the house may wish to consider other volunteer opportunities with us. Part-time workers are always considered. Most employers will now allow puppy raisers to take the puppy to work with them. Our puppy department can help and give you suggestions in approaching your employer. Many future guide dogs are raised in office environments and schools. People who work from home are always very welcome!

Can I be a puppy raiser if I live in an apartment?
Yes. While it is easier for you to puppy raise if you have a backyard, puppy raisers are not limited to people who live in houses. The experience of living in an apartment helps in socializing a puppy so he or she is comfortable that setting.

Can I be a puppy raiser if I have children at home?
Yes! Children are a benefit for socializing the puppies.

Can I be a puppy raiser if I have other pets at home?
Yes! It is good for the puppies to be raised around other animals, including cats.

How long will I have to wait to get a puppy?
The time varies depending on how many puppies we have available.

What puppy expenses will I have to pay?
Food and toys.

What should a puppy raiser do if their puppy has a medical emergency?
If you have an emergency with your puppy contact Guide Dogs of America at 818-362-5834.

After I return the puppy to Guide Dogs of America for formal training, can I pick up another puppy for raising right away?
Yes! Some puppy raisers prefer to get their new puppy right before their current puppy is ready to begin formal training.

What happens if the puppy/dog is released from the guide dog program?
The puppy raiser is given the first option to adopt the “Career Change” puppy. If your puppy has a puppy sponsor the sponsor may have requested second right to adopt. If the puppy raiser or the sponsor does not wish to adopt the puppy, then the puppy will be adopted by an individual who has applied through Guide Dogs of America’s adoption program.