Every seven minutes someone in America becomes legally blind or visually impaired.

Puppy Raising

Guide Dogs of the Desert breeds 95% of the puppies that are used in our puppy raising program. We currently utilize Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Standard Poodles, and some German Shepherds. Puppy raisers receive the guide dog puppy at approximately 12 weeks of age and they foster them until they are between 18 to 20 months of age. These are normal puppies that will chew, bark, whine, and cry. And.....they are not housebroken.

Potential puppy raisers need to meet certain criteria:

  1. Puppy Raisers must be at least 14 years of age with parental involvement and support. The adult is the responsible party.
  2. Puppy Raisers must have a car in order to transport the puppy in an emergency
  3. Puppy Raisers must agree to allow the pup to sleep indoors at night
  4. Puppy Raisers must agree to socialize, obedience train, and housebreak the puppy


If you are interested in becoming a puppy raiser, please contact Trina Began at 760-329-1282 or tbegan@gddca.org

Puppy Raiser Responsibilities

Your Guide Dog Puppy will need lots of Love and Socialization. You are expected to housebreak your puppy, and familiarize it with people, animals, traffic, noises, and strange surroundings that are age appropriate. You will need to do basic obedience training and ensure that your puppy can ride comfortably in a car.

Puppy Living Arrangements

Your puppy must be raised as an inside dog, spending time with family members & guests. Puppies must sleep beside the bed of the primary puppy raiser in a crate or on tie-down. Sleeping in the garage or on the patio is not acceptable. Your new puppy will need a fenced yard to allow him/her a safe environment for exploration, play, and relieving.

Puppy Raiser's Costs

The cost of all veterinary care, food, toys, damages, and travel expenses are the puppy raiser's responsibility. As Guide Dogs of the Desert is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, all expenses incurred in raising a Guide Dog Puppy may be tax deductible. Check with your personal tax advisor.