Volunteer Information

Phoenix Guide Dog Raisers, Inc.

Volunteer Information

Phoenix Guide Dog Raisers, Inc. (PGDR) is a club comprised of individuals committed to improving the lives of the visually impaired by raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. (GDB). Numerous volunteer positions are available at PGDR allowing individuals to capitalize on their time, talents and skills.  Opportunities include puppy raising, puppy sitting and non-dog handling activities.

Puppy raisers

Puppy raising is a rewarding and fun experience, and lays the foundation for the formal training that will take place after the puppy returns to GDB.  The skilled leadership team at PGDR provides training techniques, guidance, and support to raisers and sitters.  PGDR has established a five step process for becoming a puppy raiser.

 Step 1 – Introductory meetings

Interested individuals are asked to attend three meetings within a 60 day period.  This will give prospective raisers and sitters a chance to see puppy training in progress, speak with other members, and become more familiar with the club.

Apprentice membership

After completing three introductory meetings, a prospective member is granted apprentice status and is required to attend 80% of training meetings, as well as actively participate in club functions, such as community outreach and fundraising projects.  These events are group oriented, lots of fun, and provide the opportunity to educate the public about PGDR and GDB.

Step 2 – Puppy Partner Program

Apprentice members are placed into the Puppy Partner Program and are assigned to work with a raiser at each meeting.  Puppy Partners allows for a hands-on experience working a puppy and provides a knowledgeable raiser to answer questions, give suggestions, and explain the proper execution of commands.  Puppy Partners is a four to six month program, allowing ample opportunity to work with a puppy and to learn good dog handling skills.

Step 3 – Puppy 101

Periodically a Puppy 101/102 seminar is offered.  This is a comprehensive full day class on puppy raising, covering such key aspects as commands, socialization, health care, appropriate toys and more.

 Step 4 – Home visit

A member of the PGDR leadership team will schedule a visit to a prospective sitter or raiser’s home to meet household pets and offer recommendations on preparing the home for a guide dog puppy.

Step 5 – Puppy sitting

Puppy sitting is a very rewarding phase of the program.  Prospective members can expect to puppy sit for a three to six month period, and are required to take a puppy to all scheduled training meetings while a puppy is in their possession.  Puppy sitting allows for exposure to puppies of various ages, temperament and personalities.

After completing the five step process, full membership is granted to qualified raisers who may then apply to receive their own guide dog puppy in training at the next puppy truck delivery.

Note:  All determinations regarding readiness to puppy sit and raise a guide dog puppy  are at the discretion of GDB and the PGDR leader.

 

Puppy sitters

Puppy sitters are needed to care for guide dog puppies in training while their raiser is away.  Families and individuals who would like to become puppy sitters must follow the same five step process that is outlined above.  Once official puppy sitter status has been granted, puppy sitters must attend a minimum of one training meeting a month when a guide dog puppy is not in the home.  If actively sitting for a puppy, a puppy sitter is required to take the puppy to all scheduled training meetings that occur during the stay.

Note:  All determinations regarding readiness to puppy sit and raise a guide dog puppy are at the discretion of GDB and the PGDR leader.

 

Non-dog handling activities

Volunteers may help with various committees, special projects, fundraising events, or community outreach activities.  Examples of past events include participation in the Fountain Hills Arts Fair, wine tasting parties, making holiday ornaments, managing a holiday gift tree at a local business, and hosting events at Foundation for Blind Children.

Applications

Puppy raising/sitting application

Non-dog handling application

 

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