Text size: A A A

Puppy socialising

“I enjoy the way that volunteering as a Puppy Socialiser gets us out of the house more as a family and it’s great to know that all the effort we put in will enable others to have a better life.”

Puppy socialising for Hearing DogsBased

Edinburgh, Newcastle, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Devon.

Please get in touch to find out whether we are currently recruiting volunteers in your area.


Full time, 14 – 16 months

Role details

Volunteer puppy socialisers will take a hearing dog puppy into their own home when it is around 8 weeks of age, and care for it for approximately 14 – 16 months.

The young dog then returns to one of our two national training centres where it will carry out its advanced sound-work training and and learn to become a working hearing dog.

Puppy socialising FAQ’s

Do I need to live in a specific area to become a socialiser?
Yes, we will consider your application if you live within one of our catchment areas around the country. The areas are Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Cheshire, Edinburgh and around the Beatrice Wright Centre in Yorkshire.

Am I able to socialise if I have children?
Yes. We actively encourage children to be involved in the socialising of puppies. However we ask that you take very careful consideration when applying if you have children of pre-school age. Please discuss any queries with a member of staff during the application process.

Am I able to socialise if I have pets? (e.g. dog, cat, fish, caged animals, chickens)
Yes. If you have a pet dog we will need to assess their temperament before we can place a puppy with you. We will give advice on pet safety for smaller animals at the Home Evaluation stage of the application process.

How long will I have the dog for?
You would normally have one of our pups for a period of between 14 and 16 months. This can vary depending on the training progression of the dog.

What type of dog might I get?
Typically we train Labradors, Golden Retrievers, English Cocker Spaniels, and Miniature Poodles. We do also train a small number of Labrador crosses and Cocker crosses alongside these breeds in order to ensure we have the right dog to match each and all of our applicants. Pups enter the socialising scheme at around eight weeks of age.

Are the puppies/dogs housetrained when they arrive?
Not usually, we will provide guidance on how to housetrain your pup.

How often do I have to attend puppy classes?
You are required to attend once every two weeks. They are held during the day, Monday to Friday.

Will I incur any costs?
No, other than your time. We will provide food, bedding, toys and equipment and will pay for veterinary expenses and related travel expenses. You can claim up to £3.00 per week for extra items such as treats and poo bags; receipts will need to be provided. We can also help with mileage to and from puppy classes at a rate of 40p per mile.

Can I leave the dog alone at home?
We ask that the puppies are not left alone frequently however they do need to learn to be alone. Our pups can be left for an absolute maximum of three hours, less when they are younger. This means we cannot consider your application if you work full time, but part time workers may be considered.

How often can I expect home visits?
Your Puppy Socialising Trainer will visit you and your puppy at home once every six weeks, or more if extra support is required. This is to give you one to one advice and allows the Puppy Socialising Trainer to see the puppy/dog in its’ home environment.

Where can I take my puppy/dog?
Our puppies/dogs need to grow up in varied environments. We will advise and support you on gradual introduction to a range of situations that they will encounter as a working dog e.g. town, travel, shops, people and animals.

Is there any other criteria I must meet before I can apply to become a puppy socialiser?
Yes. You must meet the following criteria:

  • The ability to dedicate time to training and socialising your puppy on a daily basis.
  • Access to a safe and secure garden that is directly accessible from your house.
  • Access to a vehicle at all times, to get to puppy classes and in case of emergencies.
  • Be over 18 years of age.

So, would you like to become a puppy socialiser, and help to train hearing dogs of the future?

How to apply

To find out if you fall within one of our catchment areas, please contact the volunteering team on 01844 348100 (voice and minicom) or volunteer@hearingdogs.org.uk