Volunteer puppy raisers receive our puppies when they are approximately 7 weeks old and remain with them until the age of one. They work with our professional puppy managers to teach our puppies good manners and provide socialisation experiences for the first year of a puppy’s life.
Our puppy raisers are scattered across Israel. The puppies gain exposure to traffic, sitting quietly for periods of time, meeting new people, going to work, shopping at malls or supermarkets, visiting friends, restaurants, traveling on buses and trains, entering elevators and going up and down escalators. These experiences are critical in preparing the puppies for lives as Guide, Service and Emotional Support dogs. The Puppy Raisers give of their time, effort, and love to care and teach the basics to our puppies. In addition to the training, the Israel Guide Dog Centre provides the food, veterinary care, and all the support that is needed.
In order to work more efficiently with the hundreds of volunteer puppy raisers we have annually, our Puppy Raising Department has been working with three students, Karen Abed, Rotem Halfon and Omer Hershkovitz and staff from the Sami Shamoon College of Engineering and the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Be’ersheva to develop a software/app that will create a more efficient system. This system is intended to eliminate redundancies and delays in disseminating information, automating age-specific tasks required by the puppy raisers in working with their puppies, responding to questions, and providing immediate assistance. The data gathered will provide essential information to the assessors when the puppies return to the Israel Guide Dog Centre. In terms of technology, these apps may be groundbreaking in the world of guide dog training.
Presently, the Gur Report allows the puppy raisers to communicate with the puppy managers. The Puppy Raising Department is working on expanding the Gur Report to ensure an effective two-way communication system, automating tasks & providing instructions to puppy raisers. Once completed, not only can the puppy raisers send essential information to the Puppy Manager but the Puppy Raisers Department will be able to keep track of the puppy’s progress and ensure that tasks required are implemented and documented. The health of the puppies, along with regular veterinary visits, can be followed-up on a daily basis. In addition, the app will expedite the process of reimbursing expenses to our puppy raisers. In short, the Gur Report improves the communications between the puppy managers and the volunteer puppy raisers.
The Israel Guide Dog Centre wishes to extended our deep appreciation to the Taubman Foundation, USA, for their support in developing the Gur Report.