Compared to other volunteer jobs, being a puppy trainer for BC & Alberta Guide Dogs doesn’t get much better.
And right now there’s a shortage of puppy trainers, especially on Vancouver Island.
Currently, the Vancouver Island branch of BC Guide Dogs is raising and training 17 puppies. That number will increase significantly over the next six months.
“Right now we only have one puppy raiser lined up,” says Samantha Jagt, Puppy Training Supervisor on the Island. “And we could have up to 10 litters this spring.”
The puppies, mostly Labrador and golden retrievers, are raised and trained by volunteers from about seven or eight weeks until they are ready for advanced training, usually about 18 months. During that time, the volunteer provides a loving home and helps prepare the pup through a supervised program by teaching them obedience and socialization skills. Volunteers meet with the puppy supervisor three times a month for training.
The goal for each puppy is to become a life-changing Guide Dog or Autism Support Dog.
Despite raising a lovable bundle of fur, being a volunteer puppy raiser and trainer is a significant commitment. But it’s also rewarding, says Samantha, who works with puppy raisers from Victoria to Nanaimo.
“What volunteer opportunity offers you the chance to raise and train a cute puppy? And that puppy can change someone’s life,” she says.
Samantha Jagt being interviewed on CHEK TV:
• If you interested in being a Vancouver Island puppy trainer, contact Samantha Jagt at Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on being a puppy raiser, visit our puppy trainer webpage .