Puppy raiser trains service dog to walk on loose leash in a commercial building hallway

You can change lives by raising a puppy for Susquehanna Service Dogs!

Our volunteer puppy raisers welcome a 9-week-old puppy into their home to socialize and train for 15-18 months. No experience is necessary. SSD will teach you everything you need to know.

Raisers are responsible for teaching the puppies good house manners, basic skills, and specific tasks identified by our trainers. Raisers also take the puppies on lots of outings to new and interesting places, such as stores, parks, restaurants, malls, and more.

While the puppy is in a raiser’s home, the raiser is responsible for purchasing food, treats, and appropriate toys. All other costs associated with the dog are covered by SSD, including veterinary costs.

Puppy raiser homes are ideally located within an hour’s drive of Grantville, PA; Center City, Philadelphia, PA; or State College, PA.

Raisers and puppies are required to regularly attend puppy classes at our facility in Grantville or our locations in State College and Philadelphia. Early socialization classes are held every week for the first nine weeks. After that, the class schedule changes to 2-3 times per month. There are also several mandatory and optional outings throughout the year. Past outings have included Chocolate World, ZooAmerica, the Army Heritage Trail, and Ghosts of Gettysburg tours.

Puppy Sitters

Puppy sitting can be a great way for individuals or families to volunteer if they are not quite ready to commit to raising a puppy. Our sitters play in important role in our dogs’ training!

Puppy sitters watch our dogs for a short amount of time, while the dogs’ raisers go on vacation or are otherwise unable to take care of the dogs. Sitters give the dogs valuable experiences in a new home and routine, which is an important part of the dogs’ training and helps make the dogs’ transition to advanced training and eventually to their partners much smoother.

Apply to Become a Puppy Raiser or Sitter