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Puppy Raiser Program

Become a puppy raiser

Protection Dogs and Service Dogs aren't just born they are raised

Puppy to Adult protection dog training

Puppy Raisers provide specially bred puppies a safe home, take them to obedience classes, serve up a healthy diet, provide socialization opportunities and give lots and lots of love.  

Each hour spent caring for a K9 Unleashed puppy is vital to its development as a future protection dog.  The puppy raising program provides a unique opportunity for puppy raisers to assist with our very important mission.  

Please note:  You must be at least 18 years old to be a puppy raiser.  Those under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian as a co-applicant on the puppy raiser application and contract.  

As a K9 Unleashed Puppy Raiser you must agree to the following:

  • Provide a safe environment  for a puppy who will be the only dog under 1 year old in the house

  • Work closely with K9 Unleashed monitoring the puppy's progress and submit monthly reports

  • Attend K9 Unleashed obedience classes

  • Teach the puppy manners and basic commands

  • Provide the puppy with age-appropriate socialization opportunities such as public outings and medical appointments

  • Keep the puppy on leash at all times unless in a securely fenced area

  • Supervise the young puppy throughout the day

  • Agree to return puppy upon request

  • What breeds of dog does K9 Unleashed use?
    Our breeds of choice are German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds. We do sometimes have another breed but that is a rare occasion. We ask all our Puppy Raisers to be flexible regarding gender, breed or color to assure that evdery puppy finds a home quickly and effeciently.
  • Where does K9 Unleashed get their puppies?
    We have our own breeding program and we also use select breeders hand picked for our specific applications. Puppies are placed from our Richmond location and at this time we are only using local puppy raisers from the greater Lexington, Kentucky area.
  • I am 15 years old, can I raise a puppy?"
    You must be at least 18 years old to be a Puppy Raiser. Those under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian living in the same household as a co-applicant on the puppy raiser application and contract.
  • Do I get paid for being a Puppy Raiser?
    Yes. We do pay our Puppy Raisers for their time and travel expenses. It is a modest $200 a month. But you get the joy of having a great puppy and helping protect a family.
  • Do I need a fenced in yard?
    We strongly prefer that our Puppy Raisers homes have a fenced yard. Puppy Raisers must agree to follow our supervision ad leash requirements. Puppies must not be off leash at any time unless in an enclosed area. We do not allow use of electric fencing or underground fences.
  • What type of training will I do with the puppy?
    Puppy Raisers must set aside time for daily training and also attend odedience classes once a week for the duration of the project. We teach you our methods and how we train dogs. This is a perfect way to get started in the world of dog training.
  • How much exercise do the dogs require?
    Puppies need physical activity in the form of play or walking. Puppy reaisers should expect to provide at least 25-40 minutes of exercise per day. K9 Unleahed puppies are not allowed to visit public dog parks.
  • How old do you have to be to raise a puppy?
    The primary Puppy Raiser must be an adult 18 years of age or older. However, minors are allowed to raise with an adult co-raiser living in the same home. Note: Puppies can not attend school with children in the household.
  • I work outside the home; can I still be a puppy raiser?
    Absolutely!!! Most puppy raisers gain approval to take the puppy to work. We recommend speaking to your employer prior to applying. The puppy will need regular toileting breaks throughout the day.
  • Can the puppy stay home while I am at work?
    Yes. When left unspervised, K9 Unleashed puppies should always be in an appropriate size crate.
  • What all is provided from K9 Unleashed?
    K9 Unleashed will provide you with a PUPPY. Also, we will provide a leash, colar, appropriate size crate, and food. We will also show you how to play the all important tug of war game appropriately. Lets not forget we will also provide the training for both you and the puppy.
  • Who takes care of the dog if I go out of town?
    In most cases, the puppy can accompany the Puppy Raisser on vacation with approval from the head of the puppy raiser program or the puppy can be placed with K9 Unleashed till the puppy raiser returns from vacation.
  • Does K9 Unleashed have any puppy raising policies regarding children or pets?
    Other pets are limited to a household of three dogs not including the K9 Unleashed puppy. All pets in the home must be well behaved, current on vaccines and over one year of age. There is no policy regarding age and number of children in the home: however, we strongly encourage families with young children to attend a puppy class and or evaluate carefully the commitment of puppy raising on an individual basis.
  • How does K9 Unleashed prepare individuals for their role as a Puppy Raiser?
    Each Puppy Raiser goes through an orientation process and is given a manual. We also provide ongoing staff support to each puppy raiser via phone, e-mail, or in person. There is also a great community of support form current puppy raisers.
  • Wherer do puppy raisers take the puppy in public?
    Puppies must be exposed or "socialized" to activities of daily life. This can include accompanying the puppy raiser to the work place, shopping center or other public places. We rely on the goodwill of merchants and business owners rather than the legal system for gaining public access.
  • What type of training philosophy does K9 Unleashed endorse?
    We believe in the use of positive reinforcement combinded with appropriate corrections.
  • What happens if my living situation changes and I can no longer care for the puppy?
    K9 Unleashed maintians ownership of each puppy and our staff will find a new home for any puppy in need.
  • How can I possibly give him up when the time comes?
    You and the puppy you raise will take a long journey together! It is only natural that you will become very attached to the dog. The ability to give up a dog comes from knowing that you are raising the puppy for a purpose -- that the puppy will go on to help and protect someone or a family.
  • Will I get to meet the individual or family who recieves or purchases the dog I raise?
    K9 Unleashed will make an effort to unite the puppy raiser with the family or person who purchases the puppy. However, some families do not wish to meet the puppy raisers and in those few cases no meeting will take place.
  • What kind of financial commitment is required?
    Puppy Raisers recieve $200 per month, a colar, leather leash, appropriate size crate, and dog food for as long as they keep the puppy during their puppy raiser time. All vet expenses are covered by K9 Unleahed unless the fault of the sickness or injury is causes by the puppy raiser.
  • What if the dog is not purchased or fails out of the protection dog program?
    In the event the dog is released from our program but found suitable for a working role with another program we offer, K9 Unleashed will tranfer the dog to the appropriate program. Should the dog be unsuitable for placement in any working role, the puppy raiser may adopt the dog as their pet or K9 Unleashed will place the dog in an approved home from our release dog wish list. A $500 adoption fee applies to everyone other than the puppy raiser of the dog.
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