Volunteer Trainer Program

Our Volunteer Trainer program puts service dogs in training into homes for basic obedience, house manners, basic service dog skills, some advanced service dog skills, and socialization until they are ready to return for advance training, typically between one and two years old. 4 Paws supplies the tools and information necessary to be successful in puppy raising. We are committed to partnering with you to achieve this goal.

General Requirements/Criteria

  • Volunteer Trainer homes must be within 3 hours of 4 Paws for Ability, Xenia, OH
  • No prior experience necessary and you will receive a startup set of supplies
  • Complete an online training program and attend an in-person orientation at 4 Paws for Ability
  • Attend a monthly obedience class at 4 Paws for Ability or one of our two off-site locations
  • Complete required online forms
  • Comply with 4 Paws policies and procedures as outlined in puppy raiser paperwork
  • Provide a stable, safe environment for a puppy to live
  • Willing to provide at least four socialization outings per week
  • Willing to travel to and from 4 Paws for Ability as necessary with a reliable means of transportation
  • Veterinary care, food, and a startup set of supplies are provided at no cost to the Volunteer Trainer when received from the 4 Paws Center in Xenia, OH. Volunteer Trainers may choose to handle these costs themselves if they are not able to travel to the 4 Paws Center. Treats and additional toys are the responsibility of the Volunteer Puppy Trainer.

Volunteer Trainer Opportunities

Primary Volunteer Trainer

This is an individual, a family, or an individual enrolled in/working at a college who will be caring for, training, and socializing a 4 Paws dog in their home, including university students who live on or off campus.

  • Primary volunteer trainers will receive their supplies and a 4 Paws dog immediately following their orientation, given that there is a dog available – in some cases, orientations may take place and a dog may be assigned at a future time when available.
  • Primary volunteer trainers must have a vehicle or access to a vehicle that can be used if there is a need to come to 4 Paws unexpectedly (within 24 hours for health issues) and for scheduled monthly obedience classes/supply pickups/vet appointments, etc.
  • Primary volunteer trainers must fill out monthly and weekly reports on the 4 Paws Service Dog in Training
  • Primary volunteer trainers must attend required in person classes from 4 Paws.  Classes are offered at 4 Paws in Xenia, OH.  Primary raisers can only miss an in person class once every three months.
    • Attendance records for classes are reviewed at the beginning of the following month. Attendance will be taken at all in-person classes by roll call or sign-in.
    • In limited circumstances, 4 Paws may approve exceptions to the 3 hour radius requirement for current puppy raisers who move outside of the radius or for 4 Paws service dog client families who are waiting for their service dog placement class.
    • If primary volunteer trainers are located 3+ hours away from our obedience class location in Xenia, OH, they must be able to complete a local obedience class at their own cost.
      • Primary volunteer trainers located 3+ hours away must complete their local obedience class within 90 days of receiving a 4 Paws Service Dog in Training and submit a certificate of completion to their puppy raiser coordinator.

Weekend Volunteer Trainer

This is an individual, a family, or an individual enrolled in/working at a college who will be caring for, training, and socializing a 4 Paws dog in Advanced Training in their home on weekends or in the evenings and on weekends.

  • If orientation is a Friday or Saturday, weekend volunteer trainers will be receiving their supplies and a 4 Paws dog immediately after their orientation, given that there is a dog available – in some cases, orientations may take place and a dog may be assigned at a future time when available.
  • If orientation is not a Friday or Saturday, weekend volunteer trainers will not be receiving supplies or a 4 Paws dog following their orientation.  Supplies will be available when a dog and pick up time is assigned.
  • Weekend volunteer trainers must have a vehicle or access to a vehicle that can be used if there is a need to come to 4 Paws unexpectedly (within 24 hours for health issues) and for scheduled monthly obedience classes/supply pickups/vet appointments, etc.
  • Weekend volunteer trainers must attend required in person classes from 4 Paws. Weekend raisers can only miss an in person class once every three months.
    • Attendance records for classes are reviewed at the beginning of the following month. Attendance will be taken at all in-person classes by roll call or sign-in.

Secondary Volunteer Trainer

This is an individual, a family, or an individual enrolled in/working at a college looking to short-term assist with puppy raising during the day or overnight for primary puppy raisers.

  • Secondary Volunteer Trainers will not receive supplies or a 4 Paws dog following their orientation.  Secondary Volunteer Trainers will receive supplies from primary puppy raisers as sitting arrangements are made.
  • Secondary Volunteer Trainers must attend in person classes from 4 Paws once every three months AND must complete a monthly puppy sitter form.
    • Attendance records for classes are reviewed at the beginning of the following month.  4 Paws will confirm puppy sitters have attended the previous month’s obedience class or has submitted the monthly puppy sitter form. Attendance will be taken at all in-person classes by roll call or sign-in.

Note: All Volunteer Trainers who take care of dogs in the home MUST have house approval.

About Volunteer Training

All of the dogs that 4 Paws for Ability places as service dogs are bred and born at our Xenia, OH facility. After our puppies are born, they spend time with their mom building a foundation and also  gaining exposure to people, sights, and sounds through our Puppy Enrichment Programs. The next step to their future career as a service dog is being placed in a Volunteer Trainer home. 4 Paws needs and values all categories of volunteer trainers, who are a vital part making 4 Paws service dogs a success. 4 Paws may have dogs of different ages available to Volunteer Trainer homes.  Puppy Enrichment Program puppies from our prison, onsite, and volunteer enrichment homes are available to raiser homes at 10 weeks of age.  Puppies who enter our  traditional prison programs will be available between 3.5-5 months old.  On some occasions, dogs older than 5 months of age will be available to a Volunteer Puppy Trainer home.

How do I become a 4 Paws Volunteer Trainer?

Step 1: Complete an application

Click on the link below to submit your application! You will be asked to upload pictures of your home environment, a picture of yourself, and a Housing Verification Form in order to complete this application.

You will need to complete the Housing Verification Form to provide more information about your living situation. If you do not own your home, this form also serves to verify the support and awareness of the program by the owner of your home.  The signed form will need to be uploaded with your application.

Apply Now – Complete the application online here:  https://formstack.io/FFE18

Step 2: Processing Application

4 Paws will process complete applications, normally within 1-2 weeks.  Recently, we have have been receiving a large amount of applications and are delayed slightly from our standard timeline. We will be processing high need areas first and working through all applications as soon as possible.  4 Paws will reach out to applicants to do an interview and confirm attendance at a future orientation following application processing.

Step 3: Online Volunteer Trainer Training Program

This is a comprehensive online training program to prepare our Volunteer Trainers with the skills necessary to successfully work with a service dog in training. It will cover topics such as: potty training, obedience commands, rules and policies, health concerns, etc.

Step 4: Attend an Orientation

The last step is attendance at an orientation at 4 Paws for Ability where Volunteer Trainers will learn how to work with and interact with a 4 Paws service dog in training and will receive supplies and service dog in training.  4 Paws is typically in need of Volunteer Trainers during the summer time.

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If you have any questions during this process please feel free to contact 4 Paws for Ability!

Puppyraiser@4pawsforability.org
937-374-0385
207 Dayton Ave
Xenia OH 45385