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Care for a Seeing Eye Dogs pup or dog short-term

We understand that there are many people who would love to open their home to a pup or dog in support of Seeing Eye Dogs, but are unable to commit to a full term as a carer. If this sounds like you, we have short-term options available and need your help too! 

What is relief care?

A relief dog carer provides a loving home environment for one of our dogs on a short-term basis, at various ages and stages in their training. They could be puppies, dogs in training, breeding dogs or graduated Seeing Eye Dogs - any dog that would benefit from a rest in a home environment rather than our boarding kennels. Relief carers play an important role in supporting our volunteer full time carers who may not be able to fulfil their duties for a short period. 

Relief care varies in duration from one week to several months, depending on the dog’s needs and situation.


This program is currently available in Central Coast NSW and selected areas in Northern Sydney including Hornsby Shire Council and City of Parramatta NSW only.

For residents of Victoria and Queensland, learn more about our other caring programs:

  • Training dog caring available in selected regions of NSW, QLD and VIC
  • Breeder dog caring available in selected regions of VIC

What’s involved in being a relief carer

Most of our pups or dogs needing relief care have not yet completed their formal training as Seeing Eye Dogs. Our relief carers provide a vital role in maintaining consistency in their routine and training while caring for a dog in their own home. 

A relief carer's role is to

  • Provide a loving home and care to a Seeing Eye Dogs puppy or dog for a regular period of time, as required
  • Help to maintain consistency in the pup or dog's routine and training. This may include socialising a puppy to new environments and situations including shopping centres, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants
  • Meet with training staff for regular visits during business hours and bring the puppy or dog to training events as required
  • Continue their training or maintenance of basic obedience skills such as toilet training, house manners, sitting on command and walking nicely on a lead
  • Keep the puppy or dog in ideal physical condition and up to date with vaccination and worming treatments (all food, 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 or large dog on a daily basis
  • Clean up after the puppy/dog (using equipment provided)
  • Supervise the puppy/dog or nominate another carer for most of the time, not leaving the pup/dog alone for more than 3.5hrs a day
  • Provide a warm and safe space inside where the pup/dog can sleep (not on human furniture such as beds or sofas)
  • Notify Seeing Eye Dogs if you become injured or unable to care for the pup/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 necessary
  • Ongoing support and training
  • Rewarding companionship with a difference, knowing your care for this pup or dog is contributing to the greater Seeing Eye Dogs cause

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 relief carers

Carers for Seeing Eye Dogs must:

  • Love dogs! Patience, dedication and flexibility are required when caring for young pups and dogs in training
  • 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, relief carers need to be located in NSW Central Coast or selected areas in Northern Sydney including Hornsby Shire Council and City of Parramatta.

Register your details now

Tick all the boxes?

Complete an application form to register your interest in becoming a Relief Carer.  

Apply now Attend an information session