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Pawsitive Squad CIC

Paws of Hope, Paws of Love, 

Paws of Life

Puppy Raiser Volunteer

Puppy raisers are volunteers who look after & provide the foundation training for a puppy which the disabled owner has brought to train as their assistance dog but who would struggle to provide the early training required due to their disability. There are several reasons the client may not be able to provide the first 6 months of training including:

  • due to sensory sensitivities - the barking & whining which all young puppies do to some extent could cause extreme anxiety, meltdowns and overload.
  • due to medically fragile condition - children with stoma's or CVS (tubes which go directly into their blood stream) or immune conditions which mean the puppy biting or jumping up could be severely dangerous to the child. 
  • due to limited mobility & strength - almost all puppies pull on the lead at first. For clients with conditions such as muscular dystrophy which impact on mobility and strength, the puppy pulling can cause severe pain or simply be impossible for them to hold. 

Can I become a volunteer puppy raiser?

Although this is a voluntary role, being a puppy raiser does take a lot of effort and commitment. To be eligible to apply as a puppy raiser you must meet the following criteria:

  • Live within 45 minute drive of Nottingham city center.
  • Have a fully enclosed garden with at least 5ft tall.
  • Be able to create a dedicated toileting area for the puppy within your garden.
  • Be over 18 years old.
  • Not have another dog living in the same household. 
  • Not have any children under 10 living in the same household.
  • This role is subject to disclosure and barring check and two character references. 
  • Be able to commit to travel to Nottingham for 3 hours of training 1 Sunday per month.
  • Be able to commit the daily time required to play with, train and exercise your puppy.
  • Be at home for most of the day

What's involved?

Puppy raisers look after and train a clients prospective assistance dog at the puppy raisers own home for 6 months when the puppy is aged 8-12 weeks old until the puppy is 8 to 9 months old at which point the puppy is given back to their owner. All the equipment costs related to the puppy are covered by the puppies owner, not the volunteer or Pawsitive Squad CIC. 

Within the first 4 weeks of joining your household there will be a 6 week zoom course which consists of one 45 minute zoom class per week. In this course we will practice the basic obedience training and socialisation skills (which you will have already been trained to do). Following this you will have monthly (or occasionally twice monthly if you wish) 3 hour group training workshops with the puppy you're raising, face to face in Nottingham, these are usually on the 1st or 3rd Sunday of the month.

On a daily basis you will need to spend time training your puppy. The main things you'll be focusing on are:

  • Socialisation - introducing the puppy to lots of different places, objects, animals and people.
  • Teaching puppy the things they must not do such as jump up & puppy bite
  • Teach the puppy to walk on a loose lead without pulling.

What's the process?

Step 1: If you're interested in becoming a puppy raiser, sign up to one of our information events - these can be found under the 'events' page. 

Step 2: Attend the information event which is a virtual webinar to find out more about what is involved including the training provided, commitment and benefits of becoming a puppy raiser with us. 

Step 3: If you want to continue to apply, you'll be given an application form as well as asked to give us details of your 2 referees. 

Step 4: Complete the virtual learning introductory training which is around 2 hours of self guided learning through our website. 

Step 5: If the first 4 steps have gone smoothly, we will finally complete your DBS check (criminal record check).

Step 6: As long as your references, DBS and virtual learning program has ran smoothly we will sign you up as a Pawsitive Squad volunteer puppy raiser We will place you on our raiser list and be in touch when we have a suitable puppy and owner for you. 

Once you've been accepted as a volunteer you'll have access to our weekly virtual social group and volunteer Facebook group. Once you have your first puppy placed with you we will provide you with your volunteer uniform free of charge. 

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All rights Reserved.

Pawsitive Squad is a registered community interest company (non profit organisation) number 1145 1119 (England and Wales)



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Pawsitive Squad CIC

2 Woodberry Grove

North Finchley

N12 0DR


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