We are always looking for special people to give our puppies a happy puppyhood.
We developed the Puppy Raising program to provide South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind with dogs who are well prepared for both advanced training and their future work as Guide, Service and Autism Support Dogs.
You can foster our puppies for the first 16 – 18 months of the puppy’s life. You will be responsible for socialising and caring for our puppy – this is a time-consuming, but rewarding task.
You will receive your foster puppy when they are around seven weeks of age and treat them as part of your family for the next 12 – 18 months of their busy lives.
You will need to socialise the puppies as much as possible and introduce them to as wide a range of experiences, places, people and animals as possible on a repeated basis.
The puppies need to be:
- Introduced to people of all races and ages, especially children.
- Taught to relieve themselves only on command when on lead and working.
- Introduced to, and able to behave appropriately in, shopping centres, post offices, shops, restaurants etc.
- Taught how to behave in the home.
- Taught how to behave around people.
- Taught how to walk calmly on a lead and ignore distractions in the environment.
You will bring your foster puppy to the training centre for a 21-week puppy training and socialisation program when it is 10 weeks old. The puppy attends classes every week for the 21-week duration, after which, we conduct monthly group walks and home visits.
Our puppies will need a home where they are supervised all day and taught the appropriate and desired behaviour.
We prefer to place our puppies in multi-pet homes and where they have exposure to children of all ages throughout their upbringing.
We neuter the male puppies when they are around six to nine months old, and spay the females after their first year.
South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind covers the veterinary costs incurred for puppies on the program, in addition to vaccinations, deworming and micro-chipping. The puppies board in our luxurious air-conditioned kennels when you go on holiday, or when females are in season.
When your mischievous foster puppy has developed into a well behaved and mature dog, at about a year old, you will return them to us for their formal training. Many families start all over again with a new puppy.
Martin & Martin sponsor the Bob Martin diet which our puppies and adults thrive on.
South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind sends our dogs in training home for weekends, similar to boarding school.
A weekend homer is someone who fosters our dogs in training over the weekend.
You collect the young dog on a Friday afternoon and return them to the training centre the following Monday morning, making sure the dog has had sufficient rest over the weekend.
Our dogs appreciate their weekends away, and they look forward to returning to “school” on Mondays.
Bed and Breakfast Boarders
Bed and Breakfast Boarders are people who pass our Training Centre on their way to work.
You can fetch a dog in training between 16:00 and 17:00 and return the dog the next morning between 07:00 and 08:00.
This is an ideal arrangement for dogs that don’t enjoy living in a kennel environment.