Get Involved


How often does the group meet?

The group meets the 2nd and 4th Sunday of most months (some exceptions for holiday weekends) at 1PM. All raisers are expected to attend these meetings. The meetings are typically at Rinconada Library in Palo Alto, with some meetings being replaced by field trips.

Puppies less than 5 months of age meet every week; the time is often the same as the full meetings but may be at someone’s house rather than Rinconada Library, and times may be adjusted depending on the number and needs of the baby puppies. The meetings cover obedience training, puppy management and other related topics.

Will I be expected to attend all meetings?

All raisers and puppy sitters should plan on attending the meetings on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. Raisers with puppies younger than 5 months should plan on meeting every week. Occasional absences for things like vacations or family emergencies can be made, but should be coordinated with a leader.

What breeds are used as Guide Dogs?

Guide Dogs for the Blind breeds and uses Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Lab/Golden crosses. Seventy percent of the pups are Labs. A raiser may not specify a breed.

How long does a raiser keep a puppy?

A raiser receives their pup at 8 weeks of age and raises it for 12-15 months before the dog is returned to San Rafael, California or Boring, Oregon for training.

How long would it take for me to get a puppy?

Depending upon circumstances, such as litter availability and raiser/home approval, it can take 2-5 months to receive a puppy. Pups are not delivered to raisers homes in our area. We are close enough to San Rafael that it is expected that raisers will pick up their pup at the San Rafael facility.

What would I need to provide for the puppy; what would Guide Dogs provide?

A raiser is responsible for providing feeding bowls, food, toys, and grooming tools. Guide Dogs for the Blind will provide a working puppy vest, two sizes of collars with identification, two leashes, ear cleaner, tooth paste and brush, flea and heartworm medication and all paperwork connected with the puppy, including a Puppy Raising Manual. The school also provides an allowance of $250 for each pup to be used for medical expenses during the time the pup is in a raiser’s home. Any expense over this amount must be pre-approved by the Accounting Department.

If I want to apply to raise a puppy, what do I do?

To learn more about becoming a puppy raiser, visit the Guide Dogs for the Blind Puppy Raising page. To join our puppy raising club, the application process is as follows:

  1. A potential raiser must attend 3 consecutive meetings of the group including field trip, puppy meeting, and obedience training.
  2. The potential raiser then receives an application and a Puppy Raising Manual from a leader.
  3. Leaders will then conduct a home/yard inspection interview of potential raiser’s home.
  4. The application is then submitted to our Guide Dog Advisor.
  5. Upon approval, the raiser will be expected to attend all meetings and be available for puppy sitting within the group for the waiting period before receiving their puppy.

To obtain the name and phone number of the contact person in our group, fill out the Puppy Raising Volunteer Interest Request form or call Guide Dogs For The Blind at 800-295-4050 and ask for puppy raising.