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Wanted! Temporary homes for Guide Dogs in training

Do you have room for one more? You can be a part of something special: the life-changing journey of raising a Guide Dog! The Guide Dog program in WA is in desperate need of Formal Boarders for a number of Guide Dogs in training over the coming months.

Formal Boarders provide a temporary home for a Guide Dog in training while they’re in early and advanced formal training, for a period of up to 10 months.

What does Formal Boarding involve?

Formal Boarders need to be able to drop their dogs in to our office in Victoria Park, Monday to Friday, between 8-8:45am and pick them up between 4:15-4:45pm each day. For this reason, Formal Boarding often suits full-time workers that are interested in taking part in the Guide Dog journey, who may not have enough time to dedicate to raising a puppy from 8 weeks old. The dogs in this stage of training may be anywhere from 14 to 24 months of age.

These homes provide our Guide Dogs in training with a welcoming, safe and relaxing environment while they’re in the formal stage of Guide Dog training. It is especially critical that a consistent handling approach is maintained so that the dogs have the best chance of success in their training. Boarders must be able to attend handing sessions and undertake a home assessment prior to receiving a dog, and be willing and able to take instruction from the Guide Dog Team as required.

Yellow Labrador Guide Dog in training Jesmond relaxes at the foot of the stairs in his home with a cat laying next to him

Guide Dog in training Jesmond relaxes with ‘sister’ Molly the cat

Guide Dogs in this stage of training are working hard ‘full time’ every day at our office in Victoria Park, so they need rest and down time overnight and over the weekends. This means that the dogs should not be taken on walks, or out to the shops or other events as this will negatively impact on their training and relaxation time. The dogs need a home with consistency and routine, to ensure they’re able to adequately settle and relax in their new home environment.

There are a few extra eligibility criteria, including:

  • You must live within roughly 30 minutes’ drive from our office in Victoria Park.
  • Guide Dogs in training must live and sleep inside your home. Once they are settled, they may be left alone for periods of up to three hours at a time if required, but someone will need to be able to supervise them in the first few weeks while they settle in to your home.
  •  No more than one pet dog already in the home. Please note: at this stage of training, another dog/pets is not always suitable and may affect your application. The team will assess your individual pets and if successful, we will need to introduce them carefully.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age, and any children must be at least school age.
  • You must enjoy working with dogs and have the ability to learn the required skills and commands for the dogs.
  • Good communication skills – as we work closely with our volunteer boarders to help nurture and training our dogs to become fully-fledged working dogs.

You can be a part of a committed volunteer team, with a pivotal role in providing Guide Dogs to West Australians who are blind or vision impaired. Come with us on this journey, and you can feel good knowing that you’ve helped a fellow West Australian to regain their freedom and independence!

Apply now via our Puppy Raiser Application form, and be sure to specify that you’re interested in becoming a Formal Boarder!

Please note: all food and vet costs, as well as the provision of equipment such as toys, beds, grooming supplies, etc. will be provided by Guide Dogs WA.

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