Help In Other Ways

Do you have a puppy you think we should consider raising to be a service dog? Or do you have an idea of another way to helping? Contact us!


Puppy Raising

Of all the gifts you could give to help veterans--this is an enormous gift.  If you have ever seen a service dog working in public and wondered, “How do they get the dog that well trained?  I wish my dog was that well behaved!”  The foundation to a service dog becoming  well trained begins with someone like you.  It starts when a dog is placed with a puppy raiser for 6 to 8 months, learning basic obedience and other skills. 

Raising an All American Assistance Dogs puppy is truly a labor of love and involves a tremendous commitment — of time, labor and your heart. This offering to one of our nation’s Veterans would be priceless. It is difficult to express what a service dog means to his/her partner, and what your contribution to that person’s life would be.  If you have ever had a dog of your own, you know the special bond you achieve with a beloved pet.  Imagine if that dog was your lifeline as well as your companion!  Your gift of puppy-raising could make that happen for one of our heroes. Will you open your home and your heart to an All American Assistance Dogs puppy?

In order for All American Assistance Dogs to provide service dogs to veterans with PTSD or traumatic brain injuries, we need someone like you with the dedication and love to raise the puppy and train it in the basics.

If you think you might be interested and live in the Seattle metro area (preferably south King or Pierce County) please read the rest of the information below and then click on the link to sign up to volunteer.

Information On Puppy Raising

How long does the puppy stay with us?

The puppy will generally live with the puppy raiser home for 6 to 8 months. What is the home environment and time commitment needed? First, the home needs to be one where the puppy will not be left alone for more than 3 hours a day. Second, you will have to commit to:

  • Potty training
  • Taking the puppy to three obedience courses (each course is 6 weeks long, one evening a week, at a facility of AAADogs choice in Federal Way – of course All American Assistance Dogs pays for the course fees)
  • Exposing the puppy to various settings, individuals and situations that, at a minimum, follow the list provided by AAADogs
  • Exercising the puppy – typically 60 minutes a day
  • Daily practicing training course skills and teaching new skills as set forth by AAADogs
  • Playing with the dog daily for mental stimulation
  • Bathing and grooming the dog as needed
  • Accommodate weekly home visits by the AAADogs trainer / evaluator and frequent emails / phone calls / texts, etc., especially in the first month the puppy is in the puppy raiser home
  • Puppy socialization around other dogs, under the guidance of the AAADogs trainer / evaluator
  • Accommodate a weekly visit (several hours long) by the veteran whose service dog this puppy will become for their bonding
  • The puppy raiser family should have had a dog in the past they raised from a puppy and that they trained to be well behaved.

I have not had a puppy in a long time or ever

1. Puppies pee every 20-30 minutes and poop within 30 minutes of eating. By taking the puppy out within these times and enabling the puppy to succeed, you will quicken the potty training process and will make you, your family and the puppy happier. 2. Potty accidents are human error as very young puppies can't alert to that yet. 3. Young puppies sleep 18-19 hours in a 24 hour period—this is normal. It also is not entirely predictable when the awake times will be. 4. Young puppies eat three times a day; this may change to twice a day after several months. Puppies (and all dogs) need to rest for at least 45 minutes after each meal before they start running or playing hard. They need to let their food settle; this is especially necessary for the larger breeds of dogs such as the retrievers. 5. The first 15-17 weeks of a puppies life determine behavior and social skills. They need to be exposed to as many different kinds of people, buildings, environments, emotions and situations as possible during that period of time. Examples regarding people are tall people, short people, loud people, people with beards, people with hats, different colored hair, people that eat different food of a variety of odors, children of various sizes, ages, activity levels, etc. This list is limited only by the imagination of how many people, sounds, equipment, buildings, environments, and situations can be perceived and found for the puppy to be exposed to. 6. 98% of raising and training a Service Dog is ALL about affection love and praise. The puppies need to feel loved, encouraged and appreciated. They need to feel wanted. Now above and beyond that a future SERVICE DOG is very delicate as they need to be solid in all aspects due to the nature of their work.

What is the financial commitment?

The puppy raiser home / puppy raiser is responsible for toys, nail clipping, miscellaneous supplies (e.g. clean-up supplies), replacement of lost or damaged items, and any incidental damage the puppy might cause — for example, if he mysteriously chewed one of your shoes. The puppy raiser home / puppy raiser is also responsible for the cost to travel to and from the training facility (in Auburn or Federal Way) and the veterinarian (in Des Moines) [Any amounts that you spend on the puppy may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor), so do save your receipts.]

What does AAADogs provide for the puppy raising?

  • The puppy
  • Collar and leashes
  • Service dog in training vest
  • Dog brush / comb
  • Dog food (initial and subsequent)
  • Dog bowls
  • Dog bed
  • Medical care (must be coordinated through the AAADogs evaluator / trainer, unless an emergency)
  • Advice and the ability to always contact someone if there are questions or issues you want to talk about (the AAADogs trainer will initially talk with you at least several times a week during the first several weeks the young puppy is in your home, then weekly as part of home visits and training sessions for the entire time the service dog-in-training is in your home.

What kind of dog will the puppy be?

More than one type of dog becomes Service Dogs through AAADogs. Most typically the dog will be a large dog, and usually a Labrador or Golden Retriever. However, other dogs may be selected by AAADogs for inclusion in the program. Note that the dog is more typical than not a female and is unneutered until they are 6-8 months old. They they will be spayed, while still at the puppy raiser home (cost of spaying paid by All American Assistance Dogs).

What is a suitable home environment for a puppy raiser home?

AAADogs will conduct a home check before a dog is placed in your home. Key points include: If a rental, do you have permission to have a puppy there? Is there a yard? If yes, is it fenced if the dog will be let out off-leash, otherwise, what is the puppy raiser home’s plan for when the dog will be taken out—walked on a leash? Is there a grass area that the dog can use? Are there other dogs that have access to the yard or grass area? Are they aggressive? Are they off-leash? Does the puppy raiser home have other pets / animals? Are there behavior issues with them? Have they been obedience trained (if a dog)? Are you interested but still have questions? See our website at www.aaadogs.org Feel free to click on the link on the previous page and sign up to be considered for a puppy raiser home. When you are contacted, you can ask your questions and then indicate if you still want to continue being considered as a puppy raiser home.