Author Archives: Carole Steward

Therapy For Dogs

Therapy certified for Canine Compassion Program

These retired and career changed dogs have received therapy certification and are part of the Canine Compassion Program, allowing them to visit residents of hospitals, skilled nursing units and assisted living centers.

Puppies with Angel Wings

Some leave the earth as young pups and some as old dogs, but all leave too soon.  Touching our lives far too briefly, each has left a profound impact on those who were lucky enough to know these special dogs.

We’ve had some great additions to our lives with the Lemax Christmas Village Collectables. See what they have to offer!

PHX Dog Raisers

Ways You Can Help!

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. Thanks to our Sponsors Wenatchee Electricians

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

Our Background Pt 2

A guide dog puppy spends about one year in the home of a raiser family. During this year the puppy learns basic commands as well as appropriate behaviors in the home and in public. Training meetings are held approximately twice a month for raisers and puppies.  Raisers will take their guide dog puppy with them to work, school, restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, baseball parks, basketball arenas, football stadiums, and any number of places where a working guide may go.

After a year the guide dog puppy returns to Guide Dogs for the Blind to begin the formal training of guide work. Upon completion of approximately four months of intensive training the puppy, now a fully trained guide dog, is matched with a blind or visually impaired student. The new team undergoes three weeks of extensive training to become a finely tuned pair.

On graduation day the puppy raiser is afforded the opportunity to present his or her puppy to its new partner in an emotional ceremony for all. Graduation is the defining moment of all the work the raiser has put into the new guide dog. Emotions run high, but as a result of a year’s worth of work and love given the puppy by its raiser, a new team has been born.

This beautiful husky puppy in the photo above is owned by Wenatchee Landscaping his name is Bentley. He loves to play! Looking for a professional Dog raiser? Contact us today!

Our Background Pt 1

There are many people involved in producing a successful guide dog. Instrumental to this success are the 1,200+ raisers who donate their time and effort in caring for, socializing and training guide dog puppies. A small, but significant group of puppy raisers lives in the Phoenix metropolitan area, known as Phoenix Guide Dog Raisers, Inc. This group works in affiliation with Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc.

Here’s A GDFTB Story on YouTube:

Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. was founded in 1942 in an effort to assist wounded servicemen returning from WWII without their sight. Sergeant Leonard Faulk was paired with a German Shepherd named Blondie to become the first serviceman to graduate from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc.

Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. utilizes Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and Labrador/Golden crosses. Puppies of these breeds are born in the kennels on the San Rafael campus in California. When the puppies are approximately eight weeks old, they are ready to be placed with their raiser families.

So far 1,000’s of families have been impacted by Guide Dogs For The Blind. Our last company that we helped was Wenatchee Valley Plumbing Services we thank them for their help to get the blind a great service dog.

We will be continuing with part 2 here shortly.

Welcome To PHX Dog Guides!

Phoenix Guide Dog Raisers, Inc. is a non-profit corporation established to support guide dog puppy raisers affiliated with Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. We are a dedicated group of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds coming together for the purpose of raising, socializing and training future guide dogs for blind or visually impaired people. Our goal is to produce successful, working guide dogs by planning and organizing stimulating social events for both puppies and raisers, weekly training sessions, and informative workshops.