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Raising a Guide Dog Puppy
Story by Lion Bill O'Neil

How would like to have a free Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd or Golden Retriever puppy to have around the house to love and adore? The “Guiding Eyes for the Blind” has a puppy raising program that provides families with the opportunity to learn some of life’s most important lessons - Raising a Guide Dog Puppy.

At eight weeks of age, each puppy exhibiting guide dog potential is placed with a volunteer puppy raising family for approximately 16 to 18 months. Trained Puppy Evaluators offer continuous assistance to the puppy raisers and monitor the pups’ progress throughout the puppy raising process. Puppy raisers nurture the pups and familiarize them with everyday situations. They establish the loving human bond that is the foundation for the puppies’ future role in a guide dog team. After a year and a half, puppy raisers return the dogs to Guiding Eyes for evaluation.

Together with the staff of Guiding Eyes, Puppy Raisers work towards providing one half of a working guide dog team. Puppy Raisers come from all walks of life, but they share one common goal – offering greater independence and dignity to blind and visually impaired people by providing them with an exceptional guide dog. As Puppy Raisers, individuals and families receive support and guidance from the staff of Guiding Eyes on all puppy-related matters, and must attend regular meetings where staff monitors the puppy’s health and progress. A commitment to raising a guide puppy should involve the whole family. Everyone’s enthusiasm and participation helps to further ensure a rewarding and successful career as a guide dog. Guiding Eyes’ regional support teams provide ongoing support and assistance to volunteer Puppy Raisers who undertake this important task. Medical services and Equipment for raising the puppy is provided at no cost to the puppy.

To learn more about the puppy raising program visit or call 1-800-942-0149

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