Puppy Raising Program

help to develop the service dogs of tomorrow

service dog in training puppy

Highland Canine Training’s Puppy Raising Program is an initiative that enables volunteers from our community to help us prepare puppies for life as a Service Dog.

Puppies will normally go to puppy raisers when they are about eight weeks old and can stay with the puppy raisers until they are 5-6 months old.

Our partnership with our Puppy Raisers is extremely important. They help us to build a solid foundation of basic obedience with the puppies, teach them how to live in a home, and socialize them to new environments so they can be successful in their roles as Service Dogs.

With the solid foundation that our Puppy Raisers provide, we can then take the puppies into our training pipeline to work on their advanced obedience. They will learn the task(s) that they will need to help their “Forever Family”.

What Are The Benefits Of Volunteering As Part Of This Program?

Volunteering has many benefits, particularly when you’re helping improve the lives of families who need assistance.

Gain Satisfaction

Volunteering and giving back to society has been linked to improvements in mental health and self-confidence. By taking part in this program, you will be working as part of a friendly, compassionate team who is determined to make lives better for families in need of assistance.

Expand Your Knowledge

If you are interested in learning more about training dogs - or even if you just have a passion for dogs - you'll learn valuable information as part of this program. You'll understand how to teach a dog to perform basic obedience tasks, understand the importance of socialization, and set them up for success.

Make A Difference

Your vital work as part of this program will make a huge difference when the puppy is eventually delivered to their 'Forever Family'. Your help is instrumental to developing our candidates from puppies to fully-fledged Service Dogs.

What You Need To Know About The Program

Learn more information about our Puppy Raising Program, including what you can expect from us, and what we expect from you.

Raising a puppy can, at times, be very challenging. It can also be extremely rewarding! All of our puppies that make it through our full Service Dog Program will be paired with a person with a disability, and that puppy will make a world of difference in someone’s life. Service Dogs give their “Forever Families” much needed help in their day-to-day activities, but also give them love and comfort throughout their lives.

We provide our volunteers with the training and tools they need to work with their foster puppy. Puppy raisers are provided with all the food, veterinary care and equipment they require. In addition, the puppy raiser will receive training sessions from professional dog trainers on how to work with their puppy.

In return, we do have expectations for our puppy raisers to ensure that the program is a success for all parties. These include:

  • Puppy raisers will be required to attend weekly training sessions at Highland Canine Training. The weekly training sessions will provide the puppy raiser with training sessions on how to work with their puppies, in addition to allowing us to see their progress along the way.

  • Puppy raisers will need to have sufficient time to work with their puppies. As part of the program, you will need to have a schedule which allows you to work with your puppy during the day. Some travel will be required to introduce the puppy to different environments.

  • Puppy raisers need to be committed and be able to follow a training schedule. If you’ve ever had a puppy at home, you will know the commitment you’re making! Obviously, you will need to be able to build time into your schedule for regular potty breaks and playtime, but you’ll also need to be able to follow the training plan we give to you. 

Finally, puppy raisers must be at least 18 years old and must live no further than 60 miles from Highland Canine Training’s training facility located in Harmony, NC.

nikki chapman makayla gaddis puppy raising volunteers

How To Apply

The application program for our Puppy Raising Program is straightforward and simple. We are also able to answer any questions you might have on the program.

For more information on our Puppy Raising Program, you can email us at info@autismassistancedog.com, or call us at (704) 500-8281.

If you wish to apply, please complete the two forms below and send to info@autismassistancedog.com with the subject ‘Puppy Raising Program Application’. We will be in contact shortly after receiving your application!