Welcome! Mt. Tam Guide Dogs is a puppy raising club, located in Marin County, California. We raise puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, an organization that provides enhanced mobility to blind or visually impaired individuals through the partnership with dogs. 

Puppy raising requires time, dedication, and patience and is a very rewarding experience. Puppy raisers welcome an eight week old puppy into their home, which they will train and socialize for a year. While in our homes, they are taught basic obedience, good house behaviors, and are socialized to the world. Guide dog puppies are different than pet dogs- they must behave around distractions, relieve on command, and be calm in a variety of situations, places, and modes of transportation. When the dogs are 15-18 months, they are recalled to one of Guide Dog's two campuses (located in San Rafael, CA and Boring, OR) where they will begin harness training and will be assessed in a series of eight phases to determine if they would make a good guide dog. If the dog passes his final harness tests, it will be deemed "class ready". When Guide Dogs finds the perfect match of dog and client, they go through class together and if all goes well, the team will graduate. Puppy raisers are invited to meet their dog's new partner and participate in the graduation ceremony. 

Guide dog puppies are trained with special Guide Dog protocols. You will learn how to handle and train guide dog puppies by attending meetings, and will get a chance to puppysit (keeping guide dog puppies for shorter periods of time) to get a better feel of what it's like to be a puppy raiser. There are also other options, such as raising a transfer dog (a puppy that has been raised by another raiser until it is four to six months), or starting a puppy (raising a dog for the beginning four to six months). If you find that you can't make the commitment of raising a puppy for a year, puppysitting is another option. You can read more about this in Getting Involved.

Our group consists of a wide variety of people of all different ages. Puppy raisers can be as young as nine, with parental support. There are both experienced raisers and new raisers in our group. We are a non 4-H group. Our club meets bi-monthly for training exercises, announcements, socialization experiences for the dogs, and helpful information from our leaders. Puppy raisers have a lot of support, through our club leaders, fellow puppy raisers, and Community Field Representatives, or CFR's. Your leader or CFR is there to help you in raising your dog and adressing any issues that may arise. Every six months, raisers meet with the CFR to discuss their dog's progress.

We would love to have you join the Mt. Tam Puppy Raising Club! For more information, please Contact Us.


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