Overview of Position
Bergin University of Canine Studies (BUCS) seeks Fosters for our service dogs in training! Puppy Parents play a crucial role in in the life of a service dog by socializing the dog to new environments, experiences, and people. Puppies' minds are like sponges and the experiences that a service dog has early in life are critical to its later development and behavior. Not only will raising a service puppy be fun and exciting for you, it helps us to be able to place highly trained service dogs to our clients with physical disabilities and to veterans with PTSD.
As a volunteer Foster Parent, BUCS will provide some of the items necessary to raise a puppy in your home, such as a leash, harness, vest and crate. Food and any other items purchased for the dog are considered a tax-deductible in-kind donation to Bergin University of Canine Studies.
- Care for the dog in a safe and loving household for a period of time, or periods of time, as determined by Bergin University of Canine Studies.
- Transport the dog to and from Bergin University of Canine Studies' site, as requested, in order for the dog to participate in training classes with you or to come back into our training program with our students.
- Provide food, water, toileting area, appropriate toys and love for the dog while it is in your care.
- Take the dog with you on public outings in order to expose him or her to new environments. Each dog will have a "Service Dog in Training" vest that allows public access to areas where pets may normally be restricted (such as stores and restaurants).
- Reinforce the dog's training and teach new skills as learned in the training classes.
- Attend all training classes as required by Bergin University of Canine Studies.
- Submit monthly reports to Bergin University of Canine Studies.
Puppy Parent Qualifications:
- The primary handler must have permission to take the dog to school or work or have someone available for the puppy every four hours at a minimum.
- The primary handler must be able to drive and have access to a car. (Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis)
- Handlers who are between 14 and 16 years of age must have parental supervision on any public outings. Primary handlers must be at least 14 years old.
- Handlers who are minors must be at least 16 years old to take the puppy to school with them.
- Handlers must be able to transport the dog to and from the Bergin University of Canine Studies site as requested.
- The primary handler must own the home or have permission to have a dog in the home.
- The home must be safe and able to be puppy proofed, with a safe outside area to potty train.
- Handlers must be non-smokers or refrain from smoking (of any kind) around the dog, including in the house.
- The household cannot have dogs under 1 year old in the home and no dogs with aggression or other behavior issues, such as reactivity, resource guarding, or dogs that are not potty trained.
- All handlers must be mentally and physically capable of training the dog, carrying the dog, and handling problem behaviors.
- All handlers must have the physical and mental capacity to provide consistent and stable care and training and ensure the dog is not at risk inside or outside of the home.
- Primary handler and all members of the household must be willing to utilize positive training methods, follow the Bergin University of Canine Studies' training method, and commit to socialization and house training (if not already).
- The primary handler must be willing and able to provide reports and attend training as requested by Bergin University of Canine Studies.
- Primary handler and all members of the household must be committed to our mission to provide highly trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities and to veterans with PTSD.
- Experience with dogs preferred, but not required.
The schedule and length of time the dog is in your care depends on the dog, our needs, and your situation. Currently we are looking for people to foster a dog for 1-3 months. Depending on the needs of our program, the length of time may be extended or shortened. The ages of dogs range from 8 weeks old to 1.5 years old. Fosters are required to come to training classes 2x a month to help maintain the basic obedience and house manners of the dogs. Field trips to public places will be a part of those classes occasionally.
- Animal Care / Handling
- Problem Solving
- Verbal / Written Communication
Good Match For
Teens People 55+
Requirements & Commitment
- Driver's License Needed
- Must be at least 16
- Orientation or Training