What do we have to do each day? How much time does it take?
Usually two to three hours
1) The basics of feeding, airing out (potty breaks, these are part of training) and grooming (also part of training as well as health).
2) A long walk, every day.
3) Two 15-20 minute (depending on age) training periods a day.
4) Taking the puppy on a socialization outing to different places at least three times per week.
5) Attending training class once per week (once they are properly vaccinated).
6) Keeping Records.
There is work involved taking care of a puppy, so you have to be prepared. There is also the typical puppy antics to be prepared for, the chewing, accidents in the house and so forth, so it is important that you are sure that this is something you really want to do.
That being said, puppy raising is very rewarding, and these dogs save lives, so if you have a talent for being good to baby dogs, we can show you the rest, you do not need to be an expert dog trainer to be a puppy raiser.
The puppy raiser is responsible for food, toys, miscellaneous supplies (e.g. clean-up supplies), replacement of lost or damaged items, and any incidental damage the puppy might cause — to the home or personal items, just as if you were bringing in your own dog. Any amounts that you spend on the puppy may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor), so do save your receipts.
Puppy Raising is quite a commitment, but it is also joyful, rewarding and the most important role in any service dog organization. These dogs save lives, transform lives, and overall give themselves over to their task and their warrior with their whole hearts. Your role in partnership with baby dogs is invaluable.
We have other pets at home, can we still raise a puppy?
Maybe, other pets are fine as long as they are not aggressive toward the puppy, are properly cared for and vetted. Many eventual placements will involve other pets so it may be a good learning experience for the puppy. However, the puppy's health and safety are our primary concern so we take each case on an individual basis. Each home and pet will be evaluated for prior to placement of a Silver State Service Dog puppy.
The most common question: How will I ever give the Puppy up?
This is the hard part, bring your tissues. It is a difficult day when you part with your companion of so many months, but you will be there to see them go on to their person and how much that person needs them to function in life. It is a goal we are all working towards, every day.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the puppy stay with us?
The puppy will usually live with the puppy raiser until they are approximately 12-18 months old. This varies depending upon what the puppy is being trained for and how quickly the puppy matures and learns. Each puppy progresses at their own pace. Most puppies will begin their stay around 8 weeks of age, so this means that the pup would live with you for about 15 months on average. A few pups might be placed as older pups, and so live with you for a shorter time. Rarely, an older dog may be taken in and trained or retrained for a task or job.