Would you love to have a puppy in your home but only have a small amount of time on your hands? Then this could be the perfect role for you!
You will be providing a puppy with a loving home for a short period of time, which can vary from a couple of days to a couple of months. All whilst giving them the care and support they need for their training.
Search for an opportunity
If you think you could become a volunteer Puppy Fosterer for Guide Dogs, then the next step is to check if there is a opportunity available near you. You can use the search option below to find all volunteering opportunities near you and if you don't see a Puppy Fosterer option - don't worry! We do update our opportunities all the time so make sure you check back in.
What you’ll be doing
This unique role for extraordinary people includes:
- Providing a loving home for a puppy on a short-term basis.
- Engaging with our world class PREP training programme to implement with the puppy during their stay.
- Providing care and support for your puppy within your home e.g., grooming and feeding them.
- Socialising your puppy to a variety of environments to increase their confidence, this may be taking them to your local shop or taking them along to the cinema.
- Meeting with your volunteer manager to discuss any changes or issues with your puppy during its stay!
You’ll ideally have:
- A loving home to foster a puppy.
- Someone within your home who is physically able to handle large breed dogs (around 25-40kg).
- Access to a car, so that you can train your puppy to be comfortable whilst travelling.
- The agreement of your landlord to have dog in the home or your own home.
- Have a safe secure area outside for the puppy to go to the toilet.
If you don’t feel you tick every box but are sure this role is the one for you, we’d love to hear from you! We’re always open to suggestions and are very happy to chat with you to find out what’s possible, so please just get in touch on email@example.com.
What you’ll get
- The satisfaction in knowing you are supporting people with sight loss to live actively, independently, and well.
- The rewarding feeling of seeing a mischievous puppy learn new training techniques
- The opportunity to learn our bespoke world-class training programme which can help you train your own dogs or advance in a future career in dog handling.
- The opportunity to have a canine companion, which can reduce feelings of stress and improve fitness.
- The opportunity to be part of the Guide Dogs Family, meeting like-minded people and interacting with a community of puppy fosterers in your area.
- A dedicated volunteer manager and fellow peers who will help support you throughout your role.
Training and support
Our volunteers have access to our world-class training programme, Puppy Raising for Excellent Partnerships (PREP), to implement with their puppy in training, a great bonus for any dog owners! This is delivered in an interactive engaging manner, using a mixture of different learning techniques virtually e.g., videos, documents and e-learning modules. Examples of the modules you will be learning include:
- Food manners.
- Greeting new visitors.
- Being home alone.
- Settling in new environments.
Our volunteers also receive lots of support from their volunteer managers to help them implement these training modules with their puppy. If you have questions about the training requirements, we can answer these at your interview along with any other support or accessibility needs you may have.
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, food costs for the puppy and other materials needed for the puppy’s training.
What we need from you
We ask that volunteer for this role are aged 18 or over.