Puppy Raising and Fostering for Dawgs at Work

Have you ever considered fostering?

How about puppy raising? Our Dawgs at Work Service, Therapy, and ESA’s are all raised in loving homes and not the kenneling facility. We feel this is an important part of our program as it allows our dogs to better adapt and learn how to be the best working dogs!

Puppy Raising – An Overview

Puppy raising is a big but rewarding job! We are always looking for new puppy raisers to help grow and train our newest generation of working dogs! We ask that all of our raisers do the following:

1. Basic care of the puppy: feeding, letting out potty, & socializing

2. Transportation to the facility, events, outings, vet visits, etc.

3. Basic Home Manners: training in home to be good loving pups

4. 8-session Certification Course for new raisers | Paid by DAW

5. Going to events and outings with the team

All puppy raisers will receive a monthly stipend as a thank you for their dedication to raising & working with these pups!

Getting Started:

Those wishing to puppy raise can start by turning in an application to puppy raise. Applicants will be reviewed, and background checked prior to being interviewed.

Once an application is approved you will then have an in-person interview with the owner and lead trainer to make sure this is a good fit for you. We will also discuss what time frame you are looking to puppy raise for. We have three categories of dogs and each category has a time frame that the dog will be with us in a raiser home.

Service Dogs 1.5-2+ years  |  Therapy Dogs 1-1.5 years   |   ESA about 1 year

Those with other dogs in the home will be required to have a home meet-and-greet with their dog and the new puppy. All pets in your home must be current on primary vaccinations with proof.

The Beginning:

From the day they are picked up from the breeder these special pups are raised and trained extensively to prepare them to go out into the community and provide comfort to those who need it most.

For the two months they live in-home with our Lead Trainer, Amanda (Mandie) Zavadil, during an intense home-style board and train boot camp where the puppies are carefully socialized and learn beginner obedience skills before 16 weeks of age.

During this critical socializing window, the lead trainer works with the pups to expose them in a safe and controlled manner to all sorts of new sights, sounds, smells, textures, and events.

While the lead trainer is acclimating the puppies and ensuring a solid foundation for success in training our puppy raisers will go through our handling certification course if they are new to puppy raising to prepare for the raising and training of the puppy in their home. This is fully paid for by Dawgs at Work and conveniently takes place over 8-sessions right at Dawgs in Motion!

After the first two months our pups move in with our assistant trainers and puppy raisers where they will continue to grow and learn over the course of around a year and a half depending on which of the programs the puppy is enrolled in.

The Certification Course for NEW raisers:

This is an 8-session course for our puppy raisers and it certifies you as a Handler.  The course is fully paid for by Dawgs at Work but you get to keep the certification! This course is for new puppy raisers to help set you up for success! The course covers basics in dog behavior, body language, basic manners, outings, and more! Education is key to success and we feel that the more our raisers know about canine cognition and dogs in general the more successful the team will be and the more fun they will have together!

The course includes 6 classroom sessions, 1 off-site practical session, and the examination date.

GRADING: Students must achieve 85% or higher overall to pass the course.

  • Students must attend all classes in order to take the exam.
  • Homework assignments are 50% of your grade.
  • Written Examination is 25% of your grade
  • Practical Examination is 25% of your grade



Puppy Raiser Application

Do you have other pets in the home?

What type of pets do you own?

Are all of your pets up to date with primary vaccinations?

Do you have children in the home uner 18 years old?

How long are you looking to commit to puppy raising?

Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

5 + 4 =


Meet Mandie!

Mandie is our Lead Trainer and Bootcamp puppy raiser. All of our puppies start out with us for the first 2 months in Mandie’s care and routinely attend home bootcamps at her home with her!

Meet Linda!

Linda has been puppy raising with us since September of 2022. She is our most senior puppy raiser and is currently raising Service Dog in Training, Grace.

Meet Olivia!

Olivia has been puppy raising with us since June of 2023. She is currently raising Therapy Dog in Training, Britta!

Meet Lydia!

Lydia has been puppy raising with us since June of 2023. She is currently raising Therapy Dog in Training, Pearl!