Puppy Raiser Requirements

What is raising a GDD puppy like? Here is what to expect in the program

GDD Puppy Raising Requirements:

Requirements of raising a puppy for GDD:

  • A monthly report to be submitted to GDD, emailed or a hard copy mailed if requested.  This report is due by the 5th of each month, representing the previous month’s progress.
  • Photos of the puppy should accompany the report; those that send in a hard copy of their report are still required to email the photos to GDD via email (PuppyRaisers@GDDCA.ORG).
  • Additionally, pictures from the dog’s front and side are to be submitted on a quarterly basis.

Note: Please share all those amazing pictures you are capturing!  GDD utilizes these pictures in sponsor letters, social media and publicity literature. *Please state if you do NOT grant permission for GDD to utilize these pictures for publicity purposes.

Puppy Raisers must attend at least 70% of all scheduled outings or meetings per quarter:

  • One puppy-age-specific meeting per month (one-hour duration), via Zoom or in person
  • One monthly group outing or Zoom get together (one-hour duration)

**Reminders for all upcoming events, with details such as Zoom links, are sent out via email. 

All puppies must attend the GDD Obedience Class, starting before they are six months in age.  

  • The Guide Dogs of the Desert Obedience Class is one hour per week for eight weeks. During the training program, we will teach basic obedience and good house manners. 
  • If you are unable to attend a GDD class, upon pre-approval you may attend an alternative obedience class that is eight weeks in duration, focusing on AKC obedience standards and positive reinforcement techniques.

Puppy Raisers are to bring the puppy to GDD for all temperament or medical evaluations that need to be conducted by GDD.  

  • Each raiser will be contacted by the Canine Development Department when an evaluation is needed, usually at one year of age unless otherwise requested.  We will do our best to accommodate your schedule; however, it is the Puppy Raiser’s responsibility to have the puppy brought to campus for evaluations to be completed within the time frame set by GDD.  NOTE: Puppies will stay at GDD for one week during their one-year medical evaluations.  A temperament evaluation will also be completed during this time.

Medical treatments should be conducted at GDD.  

  • If the use of an outside vet is required, Puppy Raisers must first request and receive permission prior to the puppy receiving treatment.  Information about the treatments received must be immediately reported to GDD. Exceptions to prior authorization are only for life-threatening situations (See “Veterinary Policy” on page 16 of Puppy Raiser Manual for more information)

Puppy Raisers will donate the time and money necessary to provide food, shelter, care, and training for their GDD puppy; these expenses are not reimbursable.  It is the raiser’s responsibility to provide continuous care for their puppy for the entirety of their commitment (up to 24 months). (See “Boarding Options” on page 43 of Puppy Raiser Manual for more information.) 

GDD’s Commitment to Puppy Raisers

  • GDD will provide support to its Puppy Raisers by answering any and all questions or concerns.
  • The Canine Development Department staff are available by phone and email.
  • Email and calls submitted to the Canine Development Department will be returned within 2 business days.
  • GDD staff will provide the training support for Puppy Raisers through:
    • Obedience classes
    • Phone/Email contact
    • One-on-one training, as needed
    • Zoom Meetings/YouTube Videos
  • Any required training equipment will be provided by GDD (crate, collar, jacket)
    • Puppy Raisers may exchange this equipment for a change in style or size.
  • Puppy Raisers may bring their puppy to GDD for grooming and nail trims by appointment; please contact the Canine Development Assistant for assistance.
  • All medical care of the GDD puppy will be covered – treatment will be provided at GDD by appointment.   Pre-Approved, outside veterinary care will be reimbursed from submitted receipts (pre-approval not needed in cases of medical emergency – see Puppy Raiser Manual).
  • GDD will provide each Puppy Raiser with updates on their puppy, such as results from medical testing and care, feedback from their temperament evaluations and progress during Formal Training and placement.  

Puppy Living Arrangements

The puppy must be raised as an inside dog spending time with family members and 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. You will need to establish a relieving area at your home for leash relieving.

Puppy Raiser’s Costs

Costs that may be incurred while raising a puppy

It is the Puppy Raiser’s responsibility to cover the cost for food, toys, damages, and travel expenses.  These expenses could range upwards of $1,000.  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; please check with your personal tax advisor.

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Guide Dogs of the Desert | California