Want to raise a puppy? All you need is love.

You don’t have to be perfect to be a puppy raiser! All you need is an abundance of love for puppies and for our mission. Share that love and we’ll teach you the rest.

Open Your Heart and Your Home

You can take home a puppy!

As a volunteer puppy raiser, co-raiser, or puppy sitter, you can take an adorable puppy into your home. For just over a year, you will provide a loving base where the puppy can learn good house manners and basic obedience. You’ll help us create extraordinary dogs that transform lives!

Who can raise a puppy?

To volunteer as a puppy raiser, you must live near one of our puppy raiser groups (see locations) and be able to train with the group. Or, if you have previous experience as a puppy raiser, whether for Southeastern Guide Dogs or for another school, you may qualify as a remote puppy raiser no matter where you live.

We’ll teach you everything you need to know.

No experience needed! For puppy raisers living near one of our groups, we surround you with a supportive team and teach you how to raise a future guide or service dog. You’ll learn new skills and make new friends at your local group meetings held twice a month. (Note: because of Covid-19, some training takes place virtually.)

How does remote puppy-raising work?

For qualified remote raisers, you will meet virtually with a Southeastern Guide Dogs regional manager using Zoom technology for one-on-one learning sessions, tailored to your schedule. You may also be asked to record and send videos demonstrating your puppy’s skills, so you should be comfortable using technology as a communication tool.

Remote puppy raisers may also be asked to attend local dog obedience classes, or classes held by other service dog organizations, if available.

Share the love. Co-raise a puppy or volunteer as a puppy sitter.

Not sure full-time raising is for you? Share puppy raising by recruiting a friend or a neighbor (you can learn together!), or by partnering with a more experienced raiser. Puppy sitters fill in when raisers travel or need a helping hand.

Endless rewards.

Puppy raising is full of wonderful surprises and unforgettable memories. It takes consistency and a commitment to twice-a-month meetings with your local puppy raiser group to practice obedience and commands, plus, you’ll experience group excursions to help pups gain confidence in the world. To get started with your training, you’ll commit to attending Puppy Kindergarten (about once-a-week for six weeks, depending on your group). You’ll also commit to “Walk and Talk” puppy evaluations and coaching sessions, all designed to help you and your pup succeed.

But, how do you give the puppy back?

We often hear our puppy raisers say, “I may love this puppy, but someone else NEEDS this puppy.” They understand the big picture destiny of their pup will someday make a difference in somebody’s life. Many puppy raisers soften the blow of returning the older puppy by picking up their next puppy and starting again!

Ready, set, go!

Want to raise a puppy? First, review our Puppy Raiser FAQ & Checklist below.

  • If you are interested but not quite sure, please fill out our interest form and a member of our Puppy Raising Services Department will contact you.
  • If you are ready to raise a puppy, please fill out our no-obligation application. You’ll then receive a link to our online pre-placement class, which is part of your approval process.

Apply Now   Interest Form   Puppy Raiser Hall of Fame

What people are saying…

Our puppies need you to help them discover their inner hero. Knowledge is power, and after you’ve trained to become a puppy raiser, you’ll have a lot to give. Under your guidance, an incredible puppy will become a superhero.

Everyone has the potential to be a hero. Apply today and use your power for good.