On this page

Give some R&R to a Seeing Eye Dog in training

At around 12 - 18 months of age, Seeing Eye Dogs spend each week in formal training before they are matched with a person who is blind or has low vision. We need volunteer carers to provide a loving home to give these dogs some downtime and a calm place to take it easy overnight and throughout the weekend. 

As these dogs are in full-time training, they are generally not permitted to travel on public transport, access public places, or go to the dog park.

What’s involved in caring for a Seeing Eye Dog in training

Our Training Dog volunteers play an incredibly important role in the final outcome of our Seeing Eye Dogs. We need dedicated and responsible dog-lovers that can provide a high standard of care and guidance under the guidelines of our training program. 

Your home environment will mimic where the dog will live once they are placed with a client. They will need to follow the same structure and routine to set them up for success as a Seeing Eye Dog. 

You will be required to transport the dog to training on a daily basis during the week. If you don’t think you can meet this requirement, learn more about relief caring for dogs who aren’t being actively trained on our Relief Dog Carers page. 

A Training Dog Carer's role is to

  • Provide a loving and relaxed home environment to dog on nights and weekends as they undergo training to become a Seeing Eye Dog, for 4-5 months at a time
  • Manage transport to and from Seeing Eye Dogs in Kensington from Monday-Friday, with drop off between 7am - 8.40am and collection between 3pm - 7pm daily. In selected areas of NSW and QLD, instructors will collect and return the dog to your home 
  • Provide rest and respite after a busy day of training, with no walking required unless requested by Seeing Eye Dogs
  • Maintain a high standard of obedience, toilet training, house manners and social behaviour to provide guidance during their training stages

You will need to

  • Be available to commit to the Training Dogs caring program for a minimum period of 6 months and attend dog handling training sessions as required 
  • Have flexible arrangements (e.g. retired or working from home) to meet with Seeing Eye Dogs instructors and arrange transport of the dog as needed
  • Be physically fit enough to handle large dogs on a daily basis, not leaving the dog alone for more than 3.5 hours a day 
  • Clean up after the dog (using equipment provided)
  • Provide a warm and safe space inside where the 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 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 and provided feedback or important information regarding the dog in your care 

You will receive

  • All equipment, food and vet care necessary, at no cost to you
  • Ongoing support and training
  • Rewarding companionship with a difference, knowing you are supporting a dog in the final stages of its journey to becoming a Seeing Eye Dog

Eligibility for Training Carers

Carers for Seeing Eye Dogs in training must:

  • Love dogs! Patience, dedication and flexibility are required when caring for 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 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

Live in an eligible region:

  • VIC: Metro Melbourne region with the ability to travel to Kensington on weekdays for pick up and drop off.
  • QLD: Sunshine Coast region and surrounding suburbs.
  • NSW: Woy Woy, Umina Beach, Ettalong Beach, Booker Bay, Blackwall, Horsfield Bay, Woy Woy Bay, Kariong, Koolewong, Tascott, Point Clare, West Gosford, Gosford, North Gosford, East Gosford, Point Frederick, Wyoming.

Register your details now

Tick all the boxes?

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

Apply now Attend an information session