Please note: You must be at least 18 years old to be a volunteer puppy socialiser. Those under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian as a co-applicant on the puppy socialisers application.
Once the puppies have left the litter, their needs change and they begin to learn to how to adapt in our world. Each puppy is unique and each set of experiences are unique too. The impact of the puppy socialisers' work throughout this phase is invaluable.
Meeting and greeting people in a friendly, calm and controlled way is all part of the training that our puppies need to learn. When out in public with a VWD puppy, our volunteer puppy socialisers get approached by many people. Fortunately, most people know to ask before petting or approaching the puppy. Once permission has been given, the puppy needs to be well behaved and under control.
Assistance dogs need to be able to travel and adjust to new surroundings and people. Taking a puppy to various locations and seeing different people and animals are part of the socialisation process that is so important for a future assistance dog. Our volunteer puppy socialisers are responsible for these early interactions and experiences, and whilst fun, is an extremely important part of the whole learning our puppies need to go through.
Sometimes, those who intend to raise a VWD puppy for 18 months have life challenges that prevent them from continuing as a volunteer.
That’s where YOU can help!
We need Puppy Socialisers who are willing to provide a temporary home until we can find another volunteer to continuing raising the puppy.
We also occasionally need temporary homes for holidays or unforeseen circumstances where we need a puppy care for a short period of time.
Puppy Socialisers who volunteer for this experience volunteer to receive an 8 week old VWD puppy and raise him/her for up to 18 months.
Once your Puppy Socialiser Application is approved, VWD will meet with you in person to discuss things in more detail.
Consistent attendance of puppy training is mandatory for the entire experience.
VWD covers the costs of raising these future HERO dogs