Be a Puppy Raiser

Raising a Service Dog puppy can be an intensely fulfilling and fun activity that permits all members of the family to work toward a common goal.  However it does require a commitment of approximately one year to the process of developing the puppy’s temperament and personality.

It is not necessary to have previous dog training experience to be a puppy raiser.  It is, however, helpful if you have a dog, or had one in the past.

Raising a service Dog puppy does involve spending time grooming, socializing and caring for the puppy.  Puppy raisers are taught ways to work ongoing training into their daily schedule. Weekly contact and a fenced in yard is necessary to qualify as foster home for these special pups.

If you have room in your heart and space in your home, please consider being a foster family for one of these special pups. For more information or an application, email or call 808 638-0200.



What are the responsibilities of the foster puppy raiser?

The raiser must attend a weekly basic obedience class so that the puppy can learn basic obedience commands such as sit, down, stay and come.  Obedience teaches the puppy “good manners” and establishes a foundation for the work the puppy will do.  Attending an obedience class also helps socialize the puppy, which is a second responsibility of the raiser.  It is important that you socialize the puppy 2-3 times per week. We also require raisers join us in our monthly community outings for socializations activities with their pups.

What if I work full time?

Most of our raisers don’t work full-time, which we prefer, especially for our younger dogs. If the puppy is young, it is important that arrangements are made so that the puppy is not left alone for more than four hours.  Arrangements can be made with relatives, neighbors or other raisers to visit the puppy if the raiser cannot go home during the day for the first month or so. We prefer to have someone in the home at least part time until the pup is comfortable in his new setting.

What if I already have a dog?

It all depends on the age, temperament and breed of the pet dog. Sometimes having an older dog can be helpful to the puppy’s development, but it can also lead to bad habits and be distracting to the pup’s learning and focus.  When the puppy goes to our group training there will be several dogs.  It is important for the dogs to be socialized around other dogs.

How much of my time is required?

Puppy raising is a 24/7 job-no getting around it! You will need to spend quality time that includes play time, work time, general care time and time for socialization and exposing your puppy to people and public places. This includes daily exercise, grooming and specific training periods.

Who is responsible for Veterinary costs, food, etc.?

Hawaii Fi-Do is responsible for costs incurred including routine vet visits, monthly medications and the spaying or neutering of the puppy.  We appreciate it if our raiser can purchase quality approved food (we use Costco when we can) for all of our dogs. If this is a hardship, Hawaii Fi-Do will purchase the food. All costs incurred in raising your puppy may be deductible as a charitable contribution from your income.  Consult a tax advisor for information concerning any tax deductions.

Isn’t it hard to give the puppy up?

It can be the most difficult part of raising a foster puppy. Our pups are rotated every 3-4 months to a new home so they can experience many living situations. Our puppy raisers fall in love with the concept of puppy rising and have the opportunity to love and train many pups. The months spent rising the puppy are fun and rewarding.  The many times your puppy makes someone laugh and smile will far outweigh the tears from returning the puppy to Hawaii Fi-Do.  Someone on our waiting list will be hoping and dreaming of the day your puppy becomes their service dog.