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Seeing Eye Dogs Puppy Care FAQs

Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs provides all the equipment, food, training, dog health care and support while you care for the puppy. You just need to provide your home, basic training and lots of love.

All Seeing Eye Dogs puppies need a full-time primary carer that can dedicate time to toilet training, obedience skills, exercising and socialising. Becoming a Puppy Carer is best suited to people who have flexible schedules and can have a pup with them during the day, either at home or at an accommodating work environment.

Yes, many of our puppies go to work with their carers in a variety of environments including offices, schools and universities, health practices, gyms, retail outlets and more. You may bring your dog to your workplace, provided they are adequately supervised and their toilet training and obedience standards are maintained.

Please discuss this with your employer before submitting an application. If they have any questions, we are happy to assist with any concerns or OH&S workplace policies for having a Seeing Eye Dogs pup on site. 

We ask that Seeing Eye Dogs puppies have full-time supervision and are not left for more than 3.5hrs a day

Absolutely! When a Seeing Eye Dogs puppy is wearing its puppy coat, it is working and needs to follow the training guidelines. When the pup’s coat is off, it’s play time and they can relax with lots of love and cuddles.

Eligibility FAQs

A Puppy Carer must be 18 years and older. You must also be able to drive in order to transport the pup to training and appointments as required. From an early age, pups are taught to travel in the footwell in the front of your car on the passenger side.

If you have the time and energy, families with young children can definitely care for a puppy. An adult over the age of 18 must be the primary carer and will be responsible for handling the pup/dog in public. Children can be part of the experience but should be supervised at all times when with a Seeing Eye Dogs pup.

You can have pets including dogs, cats, birds, rodents etc, provided that they have a suitable temperament. Family pets will need to be on parasite prevention and up to date with vaccinations. 

Any free roaming animals like chickens or horses on your property will have to be kept separate from the puppy unless under strict supervision. Puppy Development Trainers will assess the suitability of your pets at interview.

Please note: A Seeing Eye Dogs puppy follows the Seeing Eye Dogs training program e.g. sleeps in its own bed in a crate and will have different rules and requirements to your other pets.

Yes, we have many pups who live in apartments. You don’t need a backyard as most of the pup’s exercise is on a lead. You will need access to an outdoor area where they can walk and learn to toilet on a lead and a safe, warm space for them to sleep in their crate inside your home.

When renting you will need to get permission from your landlord to become a Puppy Carer — please do this before you apply. Seeing Eye Dogs can provide you with a letter to give to the landlord outlining the Puppy Carer program, explaining that our pups are trained to behave in a calm manner and are different to having a family pet.

Travel FAQs

We have a kennel boarding facility in Kensington, as well as a group of short-term relief carers that can help you look after the pup if you need to travel and can’t take them with you. If possible, we ask for at least 2 weeks notice to allow us to make arrangements as needed.

Yes, we encourage pups to travel with you on public transport as part of their socialisation for their future role. You will receive guidance and support from Seeing Eye Dogs staff on how to introduce your pup to public transport.

Training FAQs

No, you don’t need to have any dog training experience to become a Puppy Carer and we’ve had plenty of first timers who want to experience what dog ownership is like! We have a great team of expert staff who will support your journey and training.

The application process takes approximately six (6) weeks. After you have applied, we will be in contact to start compliance checks, such as a police check and working with children or blue card check. The cost of these checks is covered by Vision Australia. As part of the application process, Seeing Eye Dogs complete an inspection of your property to ensure the pup has a suitable home environment.

As a Puppy Carer, you will have regular meetings and training sessions with Seeing Eye Dogs Puppy Development Trainer. Frequency will vary throughout the stages of growth, but this could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly and will take place around your home or work location (including local streets, shopping centres or train stations, etc.) during business hours. 

You will also participate in group training sessions with other Puppy Carers at the same stage. Our Puppy Caring community is quite social, so there are plenty of opportunities to make friends and support one another on this journey. In addition to the support from our team and community, there are also a number of great manuals, video resources and online learning modules to compliment in-person training.

Saying goodbye can be hard, but it’s also an exciting time when the puppy is ready to enter Seeing Eye Dogs Training. This is what you’ve both worked toward! No matter how you feel when it’s time for handover, remember that you’re not going through this transition alone. As a member of our volunteer community, you’ll be supported the whole way through. Many of our carers choose to take on another puppy when one moves into training. You can read some of the many stories from our dedicated Puppy Carers here.  

Every pup is unique and they will go on to fulfil an amazing purpose, even if that’s not as a Seeing Eye Dog! Dogs who aren’t suitable for the Seeing Eye Dogs program for any reason are ‘reclassified’ to a new role. Alternative outcomes can include becoming a breeding dog, training with another accredited Assistance Dogs program (e.g. therapy dogs), or being adopted as a pet. 

If a dog enters pet life, Seeing Eye Dogs works to find a loving home for each dog that fits their needs and requirements, which may be the Puppy Carer who raised them.

Let’s get started!

Join us for an information session to learn everything you need to know about becoming a Seeing Eye Dogs Puppy Carer, or head straight to our application form to register now.  

Apply now Attend an information session