Training Dog Fosterer
Are you a dog lover with room in your home to look after a dog during evenings and weekends? This could be the perfect role for you!
As a Training Dog Fosterer, you’ll be giving a dog in training a loving home whilst they embark on their journey to become a guide dog. You’ll get to see the progress your furry companion is making in their training and be a vital part of their journey, without the commitment of looking after a dog full time.
Volunteer Fosterers Ron, Terry and Margaret talk about their role, responsibilities, and why they love fostering guide dogs in training. Trainee Guide Dog Mobility Specialist Sam also talks about what is required from the role.
Find out if we have any Training Dog Fosterer roles near you with the search option below.
What you’ll be doing
In this rewarding role, your support for a guide dog in training will include:
- Doing the school run for your dog in training! This will typically involve dropping them off and picking them up at an agreed time Monday to Friday at one of our regional centres or community teams, however, some sites may vary. There are some locations where we will be able to collect and return the training dog from your home. Take a look here to find your local guide dog training site and any alternative arrangements they have in place for dogs in training.
- Caring for your dog in your home such as feeding, grooming, free running and playing, following the advice of our expert staff.
- Helping your dog keep up with their training by reinforcing the techniques at home from our first-class training programme.
- Making sure your dog is not left alone for more than four hours in a 24-hour period. If you’re planning on going on holiday, let us know at your initial phone call so we can plan alternative cover for your future life changer.
Can I foster a dog?
If you’re hoping to foster a guide dog in training, here’s what we ideally look for:
- Being close to one of our regional centres or community teams so that your dog can get to their training.
- The agreement of your landlord to have a dog in your home if you rent your home.
- A safe and secure area outside for the dog to go to the toilet.
However, we try to be flexible – for example, you’ll still be able to foster a dog if you live in London, even if you don’t have access to outside space.
What you’ll get
- The opportunity to have a lovable canine companion!
- The satisfaction in knowing you’re supporting people with sight loss to live actively, independently, and well.
- The rewarding feeling of seeing your dog learn new training techniques to help them develop into a guide dog.
- An insight into our bespoke world-class training programme so that your dog’s training stays consistent at home, which can also help you train your own dogs or advance in a future career in dog handling.
- The opportunity to be part of the Guide Dogs Family, meeting like-minded people in your area.
- A dedicated volunteer manager and fellow peers who will help support you throughout your role.
Training and support
You’ll attend a training workshop to understand the basics of our bespoke training techniques so you can confidently support your dog’s training at home. You’ll also receive ongoing guidance from your volunteer manager. If you have questions about the training requirements, we can answer these at your initial phone call along with any other support or accessibility needs you may have.
Will I have to pay?
Volunteering for Guide Dogs should never leave you out of pocket. We’ll make sure we pay any expenses related to volunteering with us, including veterinary costs, dog food costs and other materials needed for your dog’s training.
What we need from you
We ask that volunteers for this role are aged 18 or over and follow our bespoke training and advice from expert staff relevant to their canine companion.
Ready to become a Training Dog Fosterer?