Our Puppy Raiser program puts service puppies in training into homes for basic socialization and obedience training until they are ready to return for advance training (between the ages of 9-12 months old). The greatest need is for complete puppy raisers, interested in picking up a puppy between ages 8-12 weeks and raising that puppy until advanced training, however there are also short term options. We also have opportunities for weekend, evening, and short-term puppy sitters for those who are unable to make the full time commitment!
Most of the dogs that 4 Paws for Ability places as service dogs are bred and born at their Xenia, Ohio facility. There are many reasons that 4 Paws decided it was the best and most effective route for their mission and the scale of their impact, but in short, the success rate of pups that we can teach from birth is significantly higher than those we cannot (read more about our breeding program in this newsletter: http://bit.ly/4PawPrintsJun15).
After our puppies are born, they spend time together with their mom at our facility getting basic exposure to people, sights, and sounds. Even with the level of great care that our staff take in preparing the pups for their future career, 4 Paws needs community partnerships with local families to make placing service dogs a success. 4 Paws utilizes family homes in the community who volunteer as to take care of a puppy, teach them basic obedience, and socialize them in public. These excellent volunteers are 4 Paws Puppy Raisers!
The most important aspect of puppy raising is socialization! Our volunteers introduce their puppy to a new experience or place every single week. Puppies need to experience grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, museums and more on their quest to become a service dog. They need to meet tall people, short people, people in uniforms, and most importantly LOTS OF KIDDOS! They need to hear an emergency siren, listen to a voice over an intercom, hear musical instruments. They need to see a forklift work, watch kids on a playground, see a parade with costumed characters. All of these new and unique experiences build a foundation of comfort and confidence for a growing service puppy and are necessary to their development.
Would one of our adorable puppies fit perfectly in your home? Do you live within 3 hours of 4 Paws? Would you love make a difference in the life of a child or veteran? Perhaps becoming a 4 Paws Puppy Raiser is right for you!
What our Puppy Raisers are doing for us every day
While the dog is in the foster home the family will begin the housebreaking process, and help the puppy understand where and when to potty. Puppy raisers are also vital to helping puppies learn in home manners. Puppy Raisers provide 4 Paws with an assessment of the dogs personality, willingness to learn, and any potential problems/concerns they might see in the dog.
While the puppy is with their Puppy Raiser, the family works hard to help discover the skills and character of the puppy by constantly evaluating strengths and weaknesses, socialization experiences, personality, housebreaking success, and the mastery of basic obedience. Each Puppy Raiser attend lessons (puppy kindergarten and basic obedience), at a dog club, or 4H program in their area.
Our Puppy Raisers are volunteers; however, there is minimal/no expense to the family to become a puppy raiser. 4 Paws provides all veterinary care, dog food, a crate, and preventative care such as monthly heartworm and flea control. Grooming care for doodles and poodles can be provided, per the guidelines as well. If there are fees associated with obedience classes 4 Paws will cover the expense, although many organizations offer a reduced fee or free course to service dogs in training. Most families do spoil their puppy charges with 4 Paws approved treats and toys! *4 Paws will provide the supplies, however 4 Paws is unable to reimburse purchases made by the family.
Convinced you’re ready to become a 4 Paws Puppy Raiser? Application is at the bottom of the page!
Ready to become a Puppy Raiser? Please begin by filling out an application and mailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our staff will review it and let you know the next steps!
To complete the application, download the PDF and save it to your desktop before entering information. If you enter information in an internet browser it will not save. You must open and save the document in Adobe Reader. *SEE BELOW FOR SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADOBE READER DOWNLOAD/MAC USERS*
Puppy Raiser Application
Instructions for Mac Users and link to download Adobe Reader:
- Please check that you have installed Adobe Acrobat Reader, and that you open the file using Adobe Reader rather than the Preview function built into your Mac OS. The link to install Adobe Reader is: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
- To open the form, you must use Finder to navigate to Adobe Reader. Open the Adobe Reader application, then use the “File” and “Open” functions to open the file from the location in which you saved it. The form will not work if you simply double-click it to open it unless Reader is already your default PDF viewer.
- Once you fill in the form, save it on your computer before emailing.
- See the image below for reference: