Puppy Parents raise our service dogs for approximately two years before the dog graduates and is placed with a Veteran. Our Puppy Parents will be the first to tell you that the time, attention, and love they give to these future service dogs is incredibly rewarding and joyful.
Each puppy goes home with their Puppy Parent between the age of 8-12 weeks. To be considered for this important work, you must be willing and able to provide the following support and training for your WCC puppy:
- Provide a stable, safe, consistent and loving environment
- Supervise the young puppy throughout the day
- Teach the puppy manners and basic commands
- Keep the puppy on a leash at all times unless in a securely fenced area
- Closely monitor the puppy’s progress and submit monthly reports
- Attend weekly training classes at our Boyds, MD HQ or our Menlo Park, CA location. From time to time, this will include social outings that build skills and confidence
- Provide the puppy with age-appropriate socialization opportunities
- Ensure that your WCC puppy is the only dog under the age of one in your home
- Agree to return the puppy upon request
If it seems like a major commitment, it is — but it is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever undertake. For an inside look at the life of a puppy parent, please take a few minutes to watch this video.
The first step in the process is to complete and submit the Puppy Parent Application. You will be contacted and an interview will be scheduled. At the interview, you will be given insight into our training processes and style. You will also gain knowledge of the dedication required to raise one of our future service dogs.
Please note that Puppy Parents must be 18 years or older to apply for this important task, and you must have previous experience raising a puppy.