1. What is the foster family's most important role?
The foster family is in charge of the puppy's socialization process, exposing it as much as possible to the outside world so it can become accustomed to its future working environment.
2.At what age does the Seeing Eye puppy join the foster family?
The puppy will be between 7 -8 months.
3. At what point can the puppy be taken to public places?
About two weeks after his first vaccination.
4. Do I need to personally pick up the puppy from the Center?
A puppy program representative will contact you and coordinate the time in which he will deliver the dog to your home. When they arrive, he will sit with you and explain all details involving puppy raising.
5. What about veterinarian care?
If the puppy is in need of veterinarian care, the foster family shall contact the Foundation's representative, and he will direct them to a veterinarian in their area.
6. We have other pets in our house. Can we still raise a Seeing Eye puppy?
Yes. It is a healthy and important exposure for the puppy. However, the puppy should not spend many hours alone surrounded by other pets with no human contact. Also, the puppy should not be with pets that are aggressive.
7. What happens to a dog which does not complete his Seeing Eye training?
The Training Center will contact you and ask if you are interested in the dog as your pet. If not, then the Center will find another family which is interested in adopting a dog. Often we give these dogs to families with children who have special needs.
8. How long is the puppy training process?
When the puppy reaches 8 weeks, it is turned over to a foster family. There it will develop its social skills and receive much love and care.
At 18 months the dog returns to the training center and begins an 8 months course. At the end of the course the dog will be taken to its new owner. Both owner and dog will be training together for 28 days in dormitory conditions.
The training process takes place at the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Center.
9. Since the puppies are meant to become Seeing Eye dogs, can we take them everywhere?
Seeing Eye dogs may escort their owners anywhere; however, this does not apply to dogs which are still in the training process. Before taking them to particular places, it's best if you find out the place's policy regarding dogs.
10. Is the moment of handing back the puppies to the program a difficult one?
Yes it is. But knowing you are raising a puppy that will go on and improve someone else's life makes all the difference. If you do a good job in raising the puppy and are interested in raising another one, you can. A new puppy can make this process easier and will reduce the sense of loss when giving your puppy back to the school.
11. How old will my dog be when I return him to the program?
Your dog will be between a year and a year and a half old.