1. How often does the group meet?
There are three meetings per month (first and second Sunday afternoons from 2:00 – 4:00 pm), and the fourth Wednesday evening at 5:30 pm. The first meeting is usually dog training; the 2nd meeting a field trip to different areas around Placer, Nevada and Sacramento county areas, and the third meeting varies according to the needs of the group. In these meetings the group leader holds training sessions in obedience, distraction training, and beginning medical emergency training.
2. Will I be expected to attend all meetings?
New puppy raisers with puppies over four months of age are required to attend three meetings per month. Experienced raisers are encouraged to attend all meetings, but are required to attend only two meetings per month. All raisers must attend the field trip.
3. What breeds are used as Guide Dogs?
Guide Dogs for the Blind breeds and uses Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador/Golden crosses. Seventy percent of the puppies are Labradors. A raiser may not specify a breed.
4. How long does a raiser keep a puppy?
A raiser receives their puppy usually at eight weeks of age and raises it for twelve to fifteen months before the dog is returned to San Rafael, California or Boring, Oregon for formal training.
5. How long would it take for me to get a puppy?
Depending upon circumstances, such as litter availability and raiser/home approval, it can take two to five months to receive a puppy. Puppies are picked up from the San Rafael campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind.
6. What would I need to provide for the puppy; what would Guide Dogs provide?
A raiser is responsible for providing feeding bowls, food, toys, and grooming tools. Guide Dogs for the Blind will provide a working puppy vest, two sizes of collars with identification, two leashes, ear cleaner, tooth paste and brush, flea and heartworm medication and all paperwork connected with the puppy, including a Puppy Raising Manual. The school also provides an allowance of $250 for each puppy to be used for medical expenses during the time the puppy is in a raiser’s home. Any expense over this amount must be pre-approved by the Accounting Department. Our training group also supplies sleeping crates for each puppy as they grow.
7. If I want to apply to raise a puppy, what do I do?
The application process is as follows:
- A potential raiser must attend three consecutive meetings of the group including field trip, puppy meeting, and obedience training.
- The potential raiser then receives an application and a Puppy Raising Manual from a leader.
- Leaders will then conduct a home/yard inspection interview of potential raiser’s home.
- The application is then submitted to our Guide Dog Advisor.
- Upon approval, the raiser will be expected to attend all meetings and be available for puppy sitting within the group for the waiting period before receiving their puppy.