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While I enjoyed helping all of these organizations I truly love working with puppies and dogs while also helping people. I did consider for a short while going back to fostering (this may be something I do again in the future), but I’ve always enjoyed the long term commitment of training a puppy from 8 week old puppies to 18 month old young adults. I wanted the opportunity to work with not only the puppies in training, but also the clients.
Before I became a GDA Puppy Raiser I researched and applied to several other Guide and Service Dog organizations in southern California. Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) – I met with the Mission Viejo, CA group several times. Guide Dogs of the Desert (GDD) – I sent my application and emailed them several times, but never heard back. Shortly after turning Apache (my 4th GDA pup) in for formal training I decided I wanted to raise a service dog puppy in training instead of a guide dog.
There were two organizations that stood out for me: Tender Loving Canine Assistance Dogs and Canine Support Teams.
Just an FYI GDD went through a ton of changes during the time you applied to raise for them and it seems like things have stabilized so it is easier to maintain contact with them.
This is really an awesome blog Colby, I love pets a lot and want to take up puppy training.
Since you have done so much research into service dogs I was wondering if it is possible to apply for a service dog if you aren’t aware of what the dog is sensing.


I was wondering if you had any leads regarding training a SD in the San Antonio, TX, area. You might be able to find a Service Dog organization on the Assistance Dogs International website.
When I brought home my first puppy in training, Stetson from Guide Dogs of America (GDA) things were a little different. The Solution:  A service dog organization with a puppy raising program located in Orange County, California. They evaluate rescues for work with psychiatric and mobility assistance, and also help with their training. I raised 1 for Guide Dogs of Desert, 6 for Southeastern Guide Dogs (4 matched and 1 in final training) and now w St Francis Service Dogs in VA.
I am awaiting a new guide dog from GDD or if one does not look like it is coming soon switching to rescuing and owner training a dog. Also It is great to know your love for dogs and your interest to learn more as service dog puppy raiser. My first dog graduated and recently retired with his blind person who my mother is still in contact with today. He had been passed around between owners and had suffered from depression when first a dog he was bonded with died and then an older woman he bonded with passed away.
The organization do all this without the benefit of paid employees or a shelter to house these needy dogs up for adoption.


It is always sweet hearing the stories of his world travels with Mildred who found amazing freedom with her guide. I have a good 6 years or so before I really have to worry about a new working dog, but I rely so much on Spunky now that I worry about life without him or another dog watching out for me in public.
Susannah Charleson of Possibility Dogs took over when Gizmo started his task training, and has worked with him based on my needs.
My other two dogs were career changed due to health reasons, but they are happy in new homes now.
They don’t like us to overlap puppies as in having two puppies to raise with a single raiser. Another awesome aspect of Possibility Dogs is that instead of money, they ask their clients to contribute service. Since most disabled people are on fixed incomes and have trouble raising the funds to pay for a dog or training, we provide our skills. The chances of getting a pet dog that can sense something we don’t even know about is so slim.




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Comments to «Service dog puppy raisers training guide»

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