Even the smartest working dog started out as a rambunctious little puppy.
And all those Guide Dogs-to-be must start their careers by getting to know what family life is all about.
That’s why the Irish Guide Dogs are seeking kind Cork families who are willing to foster an Irish Guide Dogs puppy from the age of about seven or eight weeks until they are 12 to 15 months-old.
Puppy Raisers take in their seven week-old puppies home and help them begin their journey to becoming a Guide Dog for a person who is vision impaired, or an Assistance Dog for a family of a child with autism.
Here’s how it works: The puppy will live with your family in your home. Under the direction of the Early Training Team, puppies learn basic rules and obedience.
At approximately 14 months they move into the Irish Guide Dogs Training Centre to start their lives with the organisation’s highly skilled trainers and the hard work towards graduating as a Guide Dog begins.
So what’s involved?
Experience with obedience training dogs is an advantage. This is a full-time volunteering role; living in a volunteer’s home is crucial to the development of the puppy.
You will have a designated person from the Early Training Team who will provide you with the training and support necessary to educate your puppy. Your goal is to raise your puppy to become well-mannered and socialised, training that is an essential foundation for their future success.
“The A litter are the pups featured on our Facebook page and are now three weeks old.” says Eimear Kenneally, Dog Volunteer Co-ordinator with the Irish Guide Dogs.
“Their dad is Balto, a black lab and their mom is Inis, a golden retriever. They are lab cross retriever pups so there are black and yellow pups – five male and four female. These are not the only litter who need puppy raisers – we need them on an ongoing basis throughout the year so it would be great to have your support.”
Do you think you could volunteer to be a Puppy Raiser? For more information, contact the Irish Guide Dogs team here.