Full-Time Puppy Raisers

NEADS World Class Service Dogs change lives every day, and you can be part of this life-changing story when you join NEADS as a volunteer Puppy Raiser.

What is a Full-Time Puppy Raiser?

Full-time Puppy Raisers are dedicated volunteers who take our Service Dogs in Training into their homes and look after them for 12 to 16 months, working on critical socialization and basic obedience. The dog is then moved into a prison facility to finish its Service Dog training or is chosen as a Breeder Dog.

As a Full-Time Puppy Raiser:

  • You will attend 1 weekly training session with a NEADS trainer, both on and off campus.
  • You will care for the NEADS dog 24/7, providing a safe, healthy, and loving environment.
  • You will practice training and socialization exercises, as well as daily exercise, as directed by the NEADS trainer.
  • You will be given a "Service Dog in Training" vest for the puppy to wear, as well as all food, veterinary care, and flea, tick, and heartworm medications for the duration of the dog's training, at no cost.
  • You are financially responsible for a crate, crew toys, dog bowls, appropriate training treats, and a long leash line.

Who Makes a Good Full-Time Puppy Raiser?

The ideal candidate is just about anyone who is able to devote the time, energy, and love necessary to successfully socialize and train a NEADS Service Dog in Training We are looking for young families, couples, retirees, and individuals.

Are You Ready?

Before you apply to become a Full-Time Puppy Raiser for one of our adorable, energetic puppies, it's helpful to understand what we need from you. If you can answer "yes" to these questions, then please consider applying!

  1. Are you physically able to manage a young and energetic dog?
  2. Are you able to attend weekly training sessions with NEADS trainers?
  3. Are you available to socialize* a puppy every day under NEADS guidelines?
  4. If you have any other pets at home, are they happy, relaxed and friendly towards people and other animals?
  5. Are you prepared to handle the puppy and teach them crate training, house training, and other appropriate behaviors in the home?

** Socializing consists of following NEADS outlined field trip levels which expose the dog to everyday life in public. For example libraries, malls, grocery stores, crowds, meeting all different kinds of people, etc.

Good to Know

The dog cannot be left alone as a puppy. As the puppy gets older, the time they are left alone can gradually increase to a maximum of 3-4 hours.

The NEADS dog may go to work with you, with your company's and NEADS approval.



Steps to Becoming a Full-Time Puppy Raiser

  1. Submit an online application
  2. If it's a good fit, attend an orientation
  3. Schedule a home visit with NEADS staff
  4. Receive the NEADS Service Dog in Training

Weekend Puppy Raiser, Full-Time Puppy Raiser, Breeder Caretaker

Which role is right for me?

Weekend Puppy Raisers

  • Pick up/Drop off: Prison
  • Commitment: 3 weekends/month for 12-18 months
  • Dog: Same dog every weekend from same prison
  • Training: Maintain the obedience that the dog has learned in prison
  • Classes: 1 class/month taught by the Puppy Program Assistant
  • Socialization: 4-6 field trips per weekend, guided by NEADS socialization protocols
  • Application: Online

Full-Time Puppy Raisers

  • Pick up/Drop off: N/A
  • Commitment: 14-16 months
  • Dog: Same dog 24/7
  • Training: 1-2 classes/week in Princeton, MA area; follow NEADS training and socialization protocols
  • Field Trips: 6-10 field trips out in public weekly
  • Application: Online

Breeder Caretaker

  • Pick up/Drop off: N/A
  • Commitment: 1-3 years and then Caretaker can adopt
  • Dog: Same dog, 24/7
  • Training: Keep the NEADS dog safe and happy
  • Field Trips: NEADS dog does not have public access
  • Paperwork & Commitment: Monthly weight forms; bring NEADS dog to campus once every 3 months + when needed for breeding
  • Application: Online