Puppy Raising

Puppy Raising involves fostering a Guide Dog puppy from around seven weeks of age until he or she returns to Guide Dogs Victoria at approximately twelve months of age.  Each Puppy Raiser receives ongoing support and instruction from Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) both in the form of phone contact and regular visits from a Puppy Raising Advisor every six to eight weeks.

The puppies have been specifically bred for their important role as Guide Dogs.  The primary goal of the program is to nurture these pups so they become well socialised, confident and not readily distracted.  If they meet all the training criteria when they return to GDV they will undertake a five month intensive training program before being matched with a person with a vision impairment.


Puppy Raising is a very special commitment, which requires enormous dedication.  Puppy Raising volunteers need to:

  • Live in metropolitan Melbourne, Geelong or Ballarat
  • Dedicate time.  The puppy should not be left alone for more than three (3) hours a day
  • Provide care.  The puppy needs lots of attention to enable successful house training and socialisation
  • Have a moderate fitness level and be healthy enough to manage physical, emotional & cognitive demands of the role. Please read.
  • Visit our campus for vet appointments and Puppy Raising classes on weekdays during business hours
  • Meet during business hours with our Puppy Development Advisors as required
  • Provide a safe environment for the puppy.  Appropriate fencing for garden and pool is required
  • Have the use of a registered and insured passenger vehicle and be licensed to drive in Victoria
  • Allow the pup to sleep indoors

Any children in the household should be of school age (5 years) or older.  Any family pets need to be fully vaccinated and wormed and be compatible with a Guide Dog puppy.

If you already have two dogs living on your property please check with your local council regarding multiple pet permits.

If you feel you meet the necessary criteria and are committed to helping us raise a Guide Dog puppy we would be delighted to hear from you.  Please complete the online Volunteer Application form by clicking the link below. 

All volunteers will be required to undergo a police check prior to their commencement with Guide Dogs Victoria, and a renewal police check every three years thereafter, undertaken by authorised Guide Dogs Victoria personnel.  Guide Dogs Victoria also require volunteers to hold a current Working with Children’s check. 

Your online application will be reviewed by the Puppy Development Department within 7 business days. Successful applicants will receive an invitation to an Information Session to learn more about this challenging and rewarding commitment.

Puppy Raisers

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