Adding to our Pack
The Job of a Puppy Raiser
Any puppy raiser will tell you that it is a lot of work to raise a service dog in training! Puppy raisers volunteer their time and home to teach a Healing Hounds Service Dog basic commands and manners on top of socializing the dog in training to as many environments as possible. Our work heavily relies on these incredible puppy raisers, and we could not do this type of work without them!
While it is a lot of hard work to be a puppy raiser, most will tell you that it is incredibly rewarding work!
Becoming a Puppy Raiser
Puppy raising is a 12-14 month commitment and our trainers will work closely with you to ensure that you receive the training and support to raise a quality service dog! Puppy Raisers are required to attend weekly meetings for the first few months of receiving the puppy, so make sure you are able to meet this requirement. Our trainers are flexible as to when the meetings happen and will try to work around your schedule to the best of their abilities. Puppies are fun and doing this kind of work is incredibly rewarding knowing that you are helping someone in need! Just make sure you have the time, energy and patience that these special pups require.
If you are interested in becoming a Healing Hounds Puppy Raiser, please fill out the application below. Once you apply, one of our trainers will do a phone interview with you and then a house visit before approving you to be a puppy raiser for our organization. This ensure that it is a good fit for the puppy and your lifestyle.
Me and my family's journey started our puppy raising adventure about a year ago. We were introduce to this amazing concept by just knowing my nephew’s girlfriend who was puppy raising with Healing Hounds.
We have had many dogs through out my growing up, but when my kid’s experienced their first real loss of our dachshund/poodle who passed away about two years ago it was difficult. This was their first loss of a pet and heart wrenching for me to see their little hearts break.
As we began to heal our hearts over our loss, Halsey bounced into our lives. She arrived at our house for Sunday dinner with her puppy raiser just only a few months old. That was it, we all were so interested in “what was a puppy raiser.”
I continued to tell the kids I was not ready to have a family dog, but I was still interested in getting our insane puppy fix. I proposed to the kids we might want to puppy raise. It could be our way to have a dog in our life but also our way to give something really special to someone in need.
My daughter began to inquire about wanting to possibly take on this task of being a puppy raiser herself. Only 12 years old at the time, she downloaded the application and quickly reached out to teachers and friends for references.
We were invited to join in on some puppy raising sessions and we were hooked. We had many family discussions about the responsibility it would take for both the dog and human to be successful.
My daughter was given an amazing opportunity to bring our Halsey to school with her for a week. They did everything together. They both did great. But with her intense school and ballet regiment, she felt she could not dedicate her full attention to our beloved puppies.
But that was not the end. We were still very interested in doing our part and helping the puppies. Beginning of the summer of 2019, we got a call of a need to house a one year old puppy for a week or two. Working in the Child Welfare field, when I tell my foster parents a week or two, I’m praying they just fall in love and they can love on our kids much longer. We actually were eager to take this puppy on longer if needed. The two weeks turned into three months and we were thrilled. The biggest task ahead would be, can the kids transition the puppy and emotionally be ok?
As we prepared for our summer vacation at the end of the summer, I was preparing the kids emotionally to transition our puppy to her forever home.
We transitioned our puppy and left on a plane. A week into our vacation, the kids both said, when can we get another puppy?
At this point I knew we could do this as a family.
We currently have our first official puppy “Karlton.” We got him at 12 weeks old in September and we all have fallen in love.
He goes everywhere with us and I am constantly working with him at home. We are learning so much from our puppy and our instructors during our training sessions. It has been an amazing journey and we are so proud of our puppy. We are excited with anticipation of what his special skills will be and who he will help.
I feel like our journey has just begun. We can’t wait to help as many puppies as we can.
~ Danielle and the kids!!!!!!