Puppy Raisers/Trainers

Puppy Raisers/Trainers


Who Are They?

  • Special people who love and train our puppies into adulthood through care and socialization.

What Does it Take to be a Puppy Raiser/Trainer?

  • Puppy Raisers can be individuals or families. They must live in a house with a fenced yard. Our primary concern is that the puppy raiser has time to properly and fully socialize the puppy.
  • The puppy must sleep inside a crate by your bed. The puppy must be supervised at all times or secured in a crate. Power Paws offers three training classes a week. You must take the puppy to at least three classes a month.
  • The puppy is not to be allowed on any furniture.
  • Absolutely no table scraps or “people food” is to be given to the puppy.
  • Raisers must live in the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

What’s the Process in Becoming a Puppy Raiser/Trainer?

  • All first-time applicants must fill out a Puppy Raiser Application and a Puppy Raiser Agreement.
  • All volunteers must go through Volunteer Orientation.
  • All first-time applicants will have an in-home interview before a puppy is placed.
  • The puppies are placed in foster homes between six and eight weeks of age. The volunteer foster families are called Puppy Raisers.
  • Children and pets in the household are a plus.
  • At the time of placement, the Puppy Raiser receives a starter crate, a manual on Puppy Raising, an I.D. card, and a starter collar.
  • All items purchased and vet care for the puppy is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

What Do I Do as a Puppy Raiser?

  • As a Puppy Raiser, you play an essential part in making sure your puppy receives the proper socialization and training needed to help adjust to the important job it will be doing later on in life.
  • It is your responsibility to socialize the puppy as much as you can. Take the puppy everywhere.
  • Expose it to as many different situations as possible (construction sites, heavy traffic areas, animals, children).
  • A well socialized puppy will have fewer adjustments to make when it comes in for final training.
  • It is your responsibility, in conjunction with our profession staff, to teach the puppy 90 commands from basic obedience to advanced commands, such as turning off and on lights or opening and closing doors.
  • It is your responsibility to attend three training classes per month. During these classes, we focus on response to commands, response to social situations (being around other dogs and people) and answering questions you may have about the on-going training.
  • You need to document the daily training activities that you practice with your puppy. This is required as part of our Assistance Dogs International certification. We will provide you the appropriate forms for your completion.
  • You are financially responsible for dog food, toys, treats and minor veterinary care (up to $500/incident). All assistance dog raising/training expenses incurred as a Puppy Raiser are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

When does the puppy leave me?

  • The puppy returns to Power Paws for final training between fourteen and twenty four months of age. The puppy will spend time with a potential partner during a training “boot camp”. At that time, the puppy will stay with the potential partner until graduation.
  • From turn-in to graduation there is no visiting allowed due to the need to establish a bond between the recipient and the puppy. You may call to see how the puppy is doing while in training.
  • When the puppy graduates, you will be able to turn over the leash to the new owner during the graduation ceremony.
  • The ultimate reward for the Puppy Raisers is to meet the recipient of the dog they raised at the graduation ceremony, and witness the life they have helped to change.