Puppy Raisers – Service Dogs
Would you love to raise a puppy but are too busy for a guide dog puppy? If you work full-time you might consider raising a detector dog for the Australian customs department, or Victoria Police. They can be left unsupervised for longer each day, but you should still be able to walk them every day, take them to lots of different places and attend puppy classes regularly.
To dispel the myth: detector dogs and police dogs are not addicted to the substances they are taught to detect. They are trained using food rewards to detect narcotics, explosives and human remains. You don’t have to worry about the puppy you’ve invest so much time raising being given harmful drugs.
Customs and Border Protection Puppy Raising
These days sniffer dogs are usually Labradors, and those are the breed of dog in the Customs and Border Protection breeding program. Sorry to disappoint if you were hoping for a puppy-eyed Beagle, you would still need to be willing to take on a large breed of dog to be a part of this puppy raising opportunity.
Families with other dogs and children are welcomed to apply to be a puppy raiser for Customs, but you must have a secure yard that is at least 10 metres by 5 metres that can be accessed when you are not home. In contrast to guide dog puppies, Customs puppies must spend most of their time outside, and sleep outside in a dry place such as a veranda or in a kennel (supplied by the foster family).
Puppies stay with their foster family from about 8 weeks old, until about 15 months old. All food and veterinary care are supplied, as well as some equipment, training and support.
For more information visit the Customs and Border Protection Website.
Police Dog Puppy Raising
The Victoria Police Dog Squad has been breeding Labradors and German Shepards for their team since 1990.
Puppy raising for police dogs is much the same as other
programs: puppies are assigned to foster families until they are 12-14 months old and carers must keep them in a secure yard, walk them daily and expose them to many different places and experiences. All food, veterinary treatment and equipment is supplied by Victoria Police at no expense to the foster family. Other dogs are not allowed to be kept on the property while you have a police puppy living with you.
This program has one interesting twist: the dogs are returned to the training centre regularly for assessment, and you may receive a different dog after each assessment. This gives each pup an even broader socialisation and produces more confident and well trained dogs.
If you are interested in becoming a puppy raiser for Victoria Police, you can find more information at their website.