Guide Dogs for the Blind expands to Oregon

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Expanding outreach with a new hybrid puppy-raising program

Last year, Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) expanded its pool of volunteer puppy raisers with a hybrid puppy-raising initiative in Northern California. Anyone who lived within 50 miles of its headquarters campus in San Rafael, California was qualified to submit an application. This was the first time GDB tried a new pilot program offering online training, webinars, and in-person workshops. Previously GDB exclusively used in-person, hands-on training and informative meetings.

Family in hybrid puppy raising program holding their guide dog puppy, Sandra. (Photo courtesy of Guide Dogs for the Blind and Business Wire)

Family in hybrid puppy raising program holding their guide dog puppy, Sandra. (Photo courtesy of Guide Dogs for the Blind and Business Wire)

Now, GDB is expanding once again to Oregon for another hybrid puppy-raising program.1 Following the success seen with the pilot program in Northern California, GDB hopes that expanding to Oregon will help attract applicants who may not live near a puppy club or have lifestyles that do not easily accommodate regular club activities.

“GDB wants to meet volunteers where they are, providing individuals and families with a way to contribute to the guide dog puppy raising program while balancing other commitments and activities,” said Guide Dogs for the Blind president and CEO, Christine Benninger, in the news release. "Our innovative hybrid puppy raising model is geared toward attracting and retaining a broader spectrum of volunteers, ensuring a flexible and enriching experience for all.”1

GDB’s Hybrid Puppy Raising team will be accepting interest forms from people who live within 75 miles of its Boring, Oregon campus and an introductory meeting to discuss the hybrid program will be available on March 23, 2024, at the Boring campus, and again on March 28 via Zoom.1 The meeting is designed to help interested parties decide which puppy-raising model is right for them.

Volunteers who are chosen to raise GDB puppies will raise them from ages 2 to 15 months. During this time, the puppies should be developing confidence and obedience, while also getting as much socialization as possible from monitored activities. These efforts ultimately prepare puppies for thei future roles as guide dogs to recipients in need, K9 Buddies for police and military officials, or breeding dogs for GDB. Once these puppies reach 15 months of age, they will return to the GDB campus for formal training conducted by GDB professional trainers.1

More information about the program or application can be found on the GDB website.

Reference

Guide Dogs for the Blind unleashes new puppy raising program to expand volunteer base in Oregon. News release. Guide Dogs for the Blind. February 13, 2024. Accessed February 14, 2024. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240213800822/en

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