"Being a stay-at-home mum and carer, finding something rewarding and worthwhile has been so valuable it has given me something to do with my time, it keeps me busy and active."
Donna - Volunteer Puppy Parent
We need full time puppy parents and short term foster homes for our puppies.
Although you do not need experience or qualifications to look after one of our puppies in training, you will need to meet certain criteria and be prepared to attend several training sessions as part of our induction programme.
Once accepted, volunteers work under the guidance of the training department to establish and maintain early socialisation and basic training, which is critical for the role of an assistance dog.
Hounds for Heroes provide food and equipment for each puppy and cover the cost of veterinary bills and pet insurance.
As a puppy parent you will open up your house to a puppy as young as 8 weeks old. With the guidance and support of the puppy trainer, you will attend weekly classes to learn how to teach the puppy the basic life skills that an assistance dog requires.
This is a full time long-term commitment as puppy parents usually keep a puppy for approximately 12-14 months or until the puppy is ready to progress to the next stage of training.
There are times when a puppy may need to be looked after for a short time. Maybe it’s because a puppy parent is going on holiday, attending an event that is not suitable for a young puppy or maybe we would like a puppy to experience a different lifestyle, like living with another dog in the house or with children.
In these situations, we use one of our foster homes. When a puppy is in a foster home, we still expect their basic training to continue but it is not necessary to attend weekly classes.
This often suits people who work during the week as they can collect a dog from the training centre on Friday, spend the weekend with the dog and return it to the centre on Monday. Basic training must be maintained during this time but it is also important that the dog is given a rest.
To become a Puppy Parent you must:
- Be prepared to follow Hounds for Heroes training plan
- Preferably live within a 25 mile radius of Petersfield – reasonable travelling expenses are paid
- Be at home most of the day, in the first few weeks pups must not be left for longer than 1 hour (puppy parent)
- Be able to attend weekly classes which will last approx. one and a half hours (puppy parent)
- Be able to carry and care for a young puppy in the early weeks (puppy parent)
- Able to collect a dog on Friday afternoon and return it on Monday morning to the training centre (weekend fostering)
- At home most of the weekend, older dogs can be left for up to 4 hours (weekend fostering)
- Have regular access to a car to attend any of the following; classes, the local town or for vets visits
- Have time on a daily basis to provide the puppy with socialisation activities and training
- Have no more than 2 dogs that live with you or visit on a regular basis
- Have a fully fenced/secure dog friendly garden
- Be prepared to fence off an area of your garden for a toilet area for the puppy
How do I apply?
To become a Puppy Parent complete the form below:
Fill out this form to begin your journey to becoming a puppy parent or fosterer for our amazing dogs.