Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone be a puppy raiser?

Puppy raisers must apply to the program. There are environmental and dedicated time requirements, as well as requirements to use certain methods and equipment. Puppy raisers must agree to use Paws for Responders protocols while working with the puppy, but are Not required to have any training skills before joining the program.


How much time do puppy raisers spend with the puppy?

Typically, the puppy raisers have the puppy in their homes for 2-3 weeks/month for 12 months. While the puppy is living with the puppy raiser, they should be getting attention, care, and training consistently throughout the day. Puppies can only be left alone for a maximum of 5 hours per day (with proper accommodations for puppies still working on potty training). If the puppy raiser leaves the house for more than 5 hours, the puppy needs to go with the raiser or be transferred to another approved home during that time. Puppy raisers are also encouraged to go on outings with the puppy multiple times per week, in addition to weekly meetings with Kelsey, to ensure adequate socialization to novel environments.


What training do puppies receive while with the puppy raisers?

By the end of the 12 months period, the puppies have gone through puppy training, basic obedience training, advanced obedience training, public access training, and the Canine Good Citizen evaluation. 


Can puppy raisers have other animals and/or children in the home?

Absolutely. It is great for the puppies in training to experience the social aspects of other animals and children. However, there is a two personal dog maximum before bringing home a puppy in training, to make sure puppy is receiving enough individual attention. Additionally, parents should strongly consider the time commitment of raising a puppy if there are children in the house under 10 years old.


What expenses will the puppy raisers and handlers have while raising a puppy?

Major expenses like cost of the puppy, food, medical, and professional grooming (if needed) will be covered by Paws for Responders (not puppy raisers or handlers). Additionally, Paws for Responders will cover basic supplies that will transfer with the puppy (crate, harness, leash, and some toys). Raisers and handlers will be responsible for extra toys, training treats, and any other supplies they would like to purchase. 


Raisers are also responsible for travel expenses accrued while going to training sessions and outings with the puppy, and any household expenses that may occur while the puppy is in their home. However, Puppy Raisers are compensated for their at-home care and training time with the puppy. Compensation rates will be discussed in full during initial Raiser interviews. Out of pocket expenses should be a minimum, if the puppy is managed and supervised appropriately. 


Where do these puppies come from?

Puppies are purchased from breeders specializing in dogs with temperaments suited for the job, by Paws for Responders. It is recommended that the puppies go from the breeder to the puppy raiser's home to avoid unnecessary transport and stress in the initial stages of training.


What happens if a puppy raiser is no longer able to keep a puppy in their home?

In the unfortunate situation where a puppy raiser would need to leave the program, the puppy would be transferred to another puppy raiser's home. This may be stressful and cause confusion for a young puppy, so it is important that puppy raisers really evaluate the level of commitment required to participate in the program.


How much training will the puppy raisers receive while caring for the puppy?

Puppy raisers have access to a complete written guide to raising the puppy, online training courses covering skills from puppy training through advanced obedience tasks, weekly meetings with Kelsey while the puppy is in their care, and a bank of 1 hour private sessions to utilize, as needed. Additionally, raisers will have access to a specialized discussion group where they can contact other raisers or Kelsey, at any time.


Who is responsible if an injury or accident happens?

The owner of the puppy carries all liability for the puppy, regardless of who had "custody" at the time of the injury or accident. That being said, there are protocols and requirements in place to maintain the puppy's safety at all times. If a preventable accident occurs in the puppy raiser's care, that puppy may be removed from that home and the raiser may be removed from the program, to prevent further risk. Remember, these dogs are worth $20,000-$40,000+ by the end of their training program, preventing damage to these adorable assets is a primary responsibility taken on by the puppy raisers and Paws for Responders. 

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