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Care for a Seeing Eye Dogs puppy

Caring for a Seeing Eye Dogs puppy is a rewarding experience with real impact. Volunteer Puppy Carers open their hearts and homes to a puppy from the age of eight weeks, until they are ready for formal training to become a Seeing Eye Dog (around 12-15 months of age). 

What’s involved in puppy caring

Before our pups can become Seeing Eye Dogs, they need to learn the basics. This involves some training and socialisation — plus lots of love and pats! Our Puppy Carers receive ongoing support and guidance from a Puppy Development Trainer while providing a home to a Seeing Eye Dogs puppy for either 6 or 12 months. 

A Puppy Carer's role is to

  • Provide a loving home to a Seeing Eye Dogs puppy for 12 months (6 month programs are also available) 
  • Help to socialise the puppy to new environments and situations including shopping centres, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants
  • Meet with Puppy Development training staff for regular 1hr visits during business hours and bring the puppy to training events as required 
  • Teach them basic obedience skills such as toilet training, house manners, sitting on cue and walking nicely on a lead
  • Keep the puppy in ideal physical condition and up to date with vaccination and worming treatments (all vet checks and health examinations are provided by Seeing Eye Dogs at no cost to you)

You will need to

  • Be physically fit enough to walk a puppy on a daily basis
  • Clean up after the puppy (using equipment provided)
  • Supervise the puppy or nominate another carer for most of the time, not leaving the pup alone for more than 3.5hrs a day
  • Provide a warm and safe space inside where the pup can sleep (not on human furniture such as beds or sofas) 
  • Notify your Puppy Development Trainer if you become injured or unable to care for the dog for medical reasons, temporarily or otherwise 
  • Complete a reference and background check including a police check, working with children check and maintain compliance throughout your period of volunteering 
  • Follow all directions and recommendations from Seeing Eye Dogs staff members

You will receive

  • All equipment, food and vet care as necessary, including vaccinations and worming medication 
  • Ongoing support and training
  • A rewarding friendship with a pup who will go on to become an incredible partner and mobility aid for a person with blindness

There are no program fees or additional costs to become a volunteer carer, just your time and affection. You’ll become a part of our wonderful dog-loving community with all the support and information you need. 

Eligibility for Seeing Eye Dogs Puppy Carers

Puppy Carers for Seeing Eye Dogs must:

  • Love dogs! Patience, dedication and flexibility are required when caring for young pups
  • Be aged 18 or above at the time of application
  • Hold a current drivers licence and have immediate car access to transport the pup/dog to Seeing Eye Dogs training locations as required 
  • Have time to dedicate to training, exercising and socialising, with supervision throughout the day 
  • Have no convictions of animal cruelty in Australia or elsewhere
  • Speak fluent English

As we need to provide in-person training and support, Puppy Carers need to be located in one of the following regions:

  • VIC: Greater Melbourne, Geelong, Mornington Peninsula, Macedon Ranges, Bendigo, Ballarat and surrounding areas
  • QLD: Sunshine Coast and selected areas of Brisbane and Gold Coast
  • NSW: Central Coast and selected areas in Northern Sydney including Hornsby Shire Council and City of Parramatta

Apply to become a Puppy Carer

Register for an information session or apply now

Let’s get started! Sign up for an information session to answer all of your questions or complete an application form now to register your interest in Puppy Caring.  

Apply now Attend an information session