What do you get?
- To provide a home for a gorgeous hearing dog puppy or adolescent dog for 6-18 months depending on the dogs training plan.
- Full support from your local Dog Training Instructor via online support, puppy classes, home visits and peer support.
- We can arrange a temporary home for your pup when you go away or in an emergency.
- All food, bedding, toys and equipment will be provided.
- Medical expenses and insurance is covered by Hearing Dogs.
- The opportunity to meet like-minded people and the satisfaction in helping others.
What do we need?
- A loving home, with a secure garden.
- Access to a computer & video calling facilities.
- Volunteers who are at home for the majority of the day and who can dedicate time to puppy training on a daily basis.
- Volunteers who can drive and have access to a vehicle.
- People who have an interest in dog training.
- Volunteers who have an interest in learning new skills and working towards goals.
- Previous experience is not necessary for this role.
What else do you need to know?
Volunteer Puppy Training involves looking after and caring for one of our puppies or young dogs on a full-time basis, in your own home. Depending on your location, preferences and the puppy itself this could be from anywhere between 6-18 months at a time so requires a great deal of commitment.
Don't worry - you won't be on your own! Once registered, you will have access to the Hearing Dogs online portal where there is a wealth of knowledge & information about training our dogs alongside 'Dog Club Live' our monthly online training class for all volunteers. As well as this you will have in-person dog training classes & one-to-one support, coaching and guidance from your local Puppy Training/Dog Training Instructor. Extra support may come from your group of volunteer peers who will be training puppies of the same age.
We are currently only accepting applications in and around the following towns in South Oxfordshire: Wantage, Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford, Watlington, Chalgrove, Henley-on-Thames, Nettledbed, Turville, Sonning Common, Twyford.
Volunteer Puppy Training FAQs
What breeds do you use?
Hearing dogs use Labradors, Cocker Spaniels (Working & Show types), Miniature Poodles and the mixed breed Cockapoos. These breeds all have the traits needed to become perfect hearing dogs.
Is it ok if I have my own pets?
Yes. If you have a pet dog we will need to assess their temprament before we place a puppy with you. Having other pets can be a great opportunity to get your puppy used to meeting other animals!
How about children?
We actively encourage children to be involved in the training of our puppies! We do ask that you take careful consideration before you apply if you have children of pre-school age.
Can I leave the dog alone at home?
We ask that our dogs are not left for longer than 2-3 hours at a time and not on a regular basis.
Can I take my puppy out with me?
Yes, but we will advise when the right time is for your puppy for a gradual introduction to a range of situations that a puppy would encounter as a working dog eg. town, shops, public transport, cities etc.
I work full time can I train a puppy?
We do require our volunteers to be able to attend daytime puppy classes (which fall during the week), as well as give adequate time to the training and socialising of our puppies on a daily basis. Often our volunteers describe it as a full time job in itself! Part time workers may be considered on an individual basis.