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"Am I ready to raise?" Puppy Raising Self-Test

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Thank you for your interest in becoming a puppy raiser for Southeastern Guide Dogs. The puppy-raising experience requires a great deal of commitment, time, energy, and focus. It's an unforgettable and rewarding experience, and most puppy raisers choose to participate again and again, but it is important to make sure all potential puppy raisers are prepared for the process.

Please take the below self-test to determine if being a puppy raiser is right for you!
1. Am I financially able to care for a puppy?

While Southeastern will take care of the medical expenses in caring for one of our puppies, you as the raiser are to provide: High-quality dog food, flea prevention, travel expenses (including pick-up and drop-off at Southeastern), collar and leash, crate, toys *This question is required.
2. Am I physically able to care for a puppy?

Keep in mind that when you receive your puppy it may be only 15 lbs., but it will soon grow into a large breed dog. If you are not physically capable of bending, stooping, standing/walking for long periods of time or carrying heavy objects, puppy raising may not be for you. *This question is required.
3. Will my employer allow me to bring my puppy to work with me?

While state laws accommodate puppies to travel into public locations, we ask that you obtain permission from a supervisor prior to taking a puppy to work with you. *This question is required.
4. Are there any other pets/dogs in the home?
5. If Yes, do my existing pets have any aggression issues towards other animals or a history of resource guarding?

We like that our puppies would have the opportunity to bond with other non-program pets. However, we would not want to have our puppies in a situation where their safety would be at risk.
Are any of the other dogs living in the home intact (not spayed or neutered)?
Having an intact dog in the home will not disqualify you from raising, however we require that you only raise a puppy of the same sex as your intact dog. We would also require that you have your intact male or female dog tested for Brucellosis. This is a bacterial infection that your intact dog can carry and pass along to our puppies. The Brucellosis test is a blood test that you can have done at your local veterinarian. Once the results of the test come back, please submit the report to your AC. *This question is required.
6. Can I commit to the time frame of raising a puppy? (12-16 months)

If you are a snowbird or travel frequently, there are other opportunities available. You could puppy sit for your local group, or finish a puppy. If there is a puppy raiser group located near your summer home there is always the option of switching groups as well. *This question is required.
7. Are all members of the family in agreement to have a large breed dog in the home?

Keep in mind that while puppies are small, cute and unobtrusive in the beginning, they soon turn into adolescents. Actions that were cute as a puppy, such as jumping up on people or grabbing toys from your hands, are not so cute when the adolescent puppy is 80 pounds. It is very important that all members of the family share the responsibility of raising the puppy and follow our puppy raiser guidelines and trainer techniques. Also, be aware that young children may find a big dog to be intimidating so a family discussion would be a good idea before deciding to raise a puppy. Devoting your time to a Southeastern puppy is a full time job and it helps when all members of the family share in the responsibility and follow the protocols. *This question is required.
8. Am I 18 years of age or older?

You must be at least 18 to raise a puppy on your own. If you are under 18 your parent or guardian must be the primary raiser of the puppy with you acting as a co-raiser. We do not have a cut off upper limit age for raising, but you must be physically up to the challenges that come with handling a large breed dog. *This question is required.
9. Is my home ready for a large breed dog?

You do not have to have a big home or a large yard to raise a puppy for Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. Your home environment DOES have to be a safe place for the puppy. Your home must be in good repair and sufficiently dog proofed. There must be an area near by where the puppy can "busy", and be safe while doing so. *This question is required.
10. Are you willing to strictly adhere to Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. puppy training protocols?

While we understand that some may have extensive dog training backgrounds, or a previous raising experience for another guide dog school, we ask that you work and train your puppy as outlined by our Puppy Raising Manual. We also ask that you attend two puppy raiser meetings a month. Your local Area Coordinator schedules these meetings and notifications of these meetings are sent out with plenty of notice. Attendance at these meetings is required and unexcused absences may result in the removal of a puppy from your care. These meetings need to be a priority in your schedule, and if you do not intend on making them a priority then maybe puppy raising is not for you.
11. Do you have any weight or size limitations for pets living in your home that is instituted by deed restriction or a board of members that may prohibit you from raising a large breed dog?

While puppies in our program have access rights to go where the general public is allowed, puppies in training are not covered by the fair housing act. Therefore, you will need to make sure that you have permission from your home’s governing body to raise a large breed dog for our organization. *This question is required.