Puppies are placed on our Puppy Development Program at around 8-9 weeks of age. They are then cared for and socialised by volunteer puppy raising families, responsible for their welfare, development and early training.
We select puppy raisers who are able to commit the time and energy to volunteering and who are willing to follow the guidelines necessary to raise these valuable pups in the right way.
A crucial part of an Assistance Dog's training involves exposure to a variety of environments whilst they are very young. This is so that they may become de-sensitised and environmentally aware in readiness for their formal role in providing the assistance required by their eventual user or client.
ADNZT covers the cost of health care and registration along with providing the food and equipment required for our puppies. An ADNZT staff member will visit at least once per month to see how the pup is progressing and to provide advice and guidance to help with raising the pup.
Without the support of our volunteers who provide such a loving and secure home life for our young puppies, training our dogs in adulthood would be much more difficult.
At around 18 months of age the puppies return to ADNZT for a month-long assessment in a variety of environments and situations. Once successfully completed, they will commence formal training. The training period is approximately 6 months; following qualification, the dog will be then matched to a client.
At present, we're only recruiting puppy raisers in Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge, Tauranga, Napier, Hastings, Wellington, Dunedin and the Canterbury region. But we do plan to expand this to other areas over the coming years. If you would like to provide support and live outside these areas, please feel free to contact us and we can discuss with you how you can help. There may be opportunities to help by becoming a short-term boarding home for puppies or dogs awaiting placement, or from time to time we require permanent homes for our breeding stock.
Below is our criteria to become a Puppy Raiser:
Must be over 20 years of age
Have full support of all the family members in the household
Not be in full-time employment (individual circumstances are taken into consideration)
Provide a safe home environment for the puppy with a secure fenced garden
Have the time available to raise a puppy and be able to exercise and socialise the puppy daily
Be prepared to follow the guidelines provided by (ADNZT)
Have access to a car and be available to meet up with our Puppy Development Supervisor on a regular basis for puppy socialisation and training sessions
Be able to commit to having a puppy for between 14 - 18 months
In addition, households that have other pets are considered, however, we prefer no more than one other dog in the household which would need to be of a suitable temperament.
If this is something that you think you would be interested in and would like to find out more, we would love to hear from you! Please complete an application form by clicking on one of the buttons below, and we will be in touch shortly.