Raise a puppy, change lives.


Can you offer our puppies a loving home?

Take a puppy into your heart and home.

Become a volunteer Puppy Raiser to nurture the next generation of Guide Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs.

Our puppies start training from 8-10 weeks of age and, for the next 12+ months, you could play an essential role in their development, introducing them to a range of new experiences and environments as they prepare for their important career.

A yellow Labrador puppy sitting in a garden.

We need Puppy Raisers who:

  • Are over 18 years old with a full driver’s licence and a car
  • Have the strength and physical fitness to handle a dog that will grow to be in excess of 30kg
  • Are able to accommodate the puppy’s training and socialisation into their daily routine, including regular training sessions at different locations around Adelaide which may be during business hours
  • Can ensure puppies are not left alone for more than four hours. This may mean developing flexible work/study arrangements so the puppy can attend your workplace. You should seek approval from your company management to ensure understanding of the following:
    • Toileting the puppy every 30 mins – 1 hour when learning toilet training
    • There may be intermittent whining as the puppy develops
    • Commitment to attend weekly training sessions with your Puppy Raising Advisor for the puppy’s development
    • Enforcing guidelines around the puppy’s behaviour and staff engaging with the puppy throughout training – remember, you have a future Guide Dog in your hands!

Additionally, your home will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Located in the Adelaide metropolitan area or surrounding areas, including:
    • East Adelaide (Norwood, Hazelwood Park, Burnside, etc.)
    • Adelaide South (Willunga, Victor Harbor, Noarlunga, etc.)
    • Mount Barker & Adelaide Hills
    • West Adelaide (Henley Beach, West Lakes, etc.)
    • Unley, Parkside, Goodwood areas
  • Have a secure yard with fencing a minimum height of 1.5m
  • Pools, spas, ponds, and any other bodies of water fully enclosed
  • Check and remove all dangerous plants and poisons from the yard
  • You are prepared for the puppy to live and sleep inside the house, including accepting liability for any toileting accidents, dog hair, and occasional chewing that may occur
  • If you live in a rental property or body corporate, you must have approval from your Landlord or Body Corporate Management to allow the puppy on the premises.

Please note: Our puppies benefit from being socialised with children and other animals. Families with children and pets are encouraged to apply, but pets must be of suitable temperament and families must have the time to walk, train, and care for the puppy.


How does it work?

Our special puppies in training are placed with their Puppy Raising families at 8-10 weeks of age and may spend up to 12+ months in the care of their new family.

As a Puppy Raiser, you will be allocated a Puppy Raising Advisor (PRA), who is a staff member of Guide Dogs SA/NT. Your PRA is responsible for mentoring you through the training period of the puppy, as well as monitoring the puppy’s development and milestone achievements.

You will receive training from your PRA, and be in regular contact with your PRA to ensure both you and the puppy are well-supported to achieve expected outcomes.

As a Puppy Raiser, you will also be responsible for integrating the puppy into your daily routines and introducing them to a number of different environments and situations, such as:

  • public transport
  • shopping centres
  • restaurants 
  • other public places

Our staff members provide training and support for Puppy Raisers. All food and medical expenses are met by Guide Dogs.

Say goodbye to a puppy – hello to a future

Puppy Raising is a commitment of up to 12+ months, but our puppies may be moved from time to time to best support their learning and development.

Once they’re ready for the next stage of their journey, our puppies return to Guide Dogs to begin assessment and training for their potential careers as Guide Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs or Therapy Dogs.

While it’s never easy to say goodbye to the puppy, it's a wonderful feeling to know that you have contributed to the training of a Guide Dog that will one day make a positive difference to somebody’s life – and there's always the opportunity to continue Puppy Raising!


A woman is smiling next to her puppy in training

I want to be a volunteer Puppy Raiser

If you would like to become a volunteer Puppy Raiser or would like more information please contact our HR team via hr.volunteer@guidedogs.org.au, phone (08) 8115 6050 or click the button below to complete our Puppy Raiser Enquiry Form.

Click here for a PDF version of the Guide Dog Development Program Puppy Raising Volunteer Fact Sheet

Click here for a Word version      Click here for an Audio version


I'm interested!