Puppy Raising or Volunteer Handling. Which role is right for you? Find out below. 

puppy raiser

puppy raising

Puppy Raisers are Responsible for:

  • Teaching the puppy good house manners & basic commands and skills as instructed by our trainers.
  • Taking the puppy to new, interesting, and age appropriate locations (which may include stores, parks, restaurants, and more)
  • Attending puppy classes at an approved training facility near the puppy raiser’s home. (Cost of training classes for the puppy are covered by FRSD.)
  • Purchasing food, treats, and approved toys. (Puppy raisers may choose to generously cover these or other costs.)
  • Foliage Retrievers Service Dogs covers all veterinary costs and provides monthly heartworm, flea, and tick preventatives. 


  • Participating in field trip outings throughout the year. (These field trips will be made available from time to time to work on specific skills or in a new environment.)

weekend puppy raiser (COMING SOON)

Weekend Puppy Raisers are Responsible for:

  • Making a 12-18 month long commitment to raising a puppy on weekends only.
  • Feeding, caring for, & maintaining the obedience that the puppy has learned with it’s full-time raiser.
  • Taking their puppy on 4-6 age appropriate field trips per weekend.
  • Filling out a weekend report for the full-time raiser about skills practiced, trips taken, and any other relevant details.
  • Weekend Puppy Raisers will have the option of being added to an email list to help raisers by puppy sitting in emergencies.

Application Process

Complete our online application. Once submitted, you will receive an automated confirmation message with more information about the process and next steps. Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing.
Applications should be advised that puppy raisers may be asked to attend orientation, training classes, or to shadow a current raiser. Another important step in the process will be scheduling a home visit conducted by one of our staff or volunteers.
Please be patient throughout the process of becoming a puppy raiser. Our goal is to set the puppy and the raiser up for success by matching the raiser based on the puppy’s temperament and the raiser’s lifestyle. If you are approved as a raiser it may take some time for the right puppy to come along. The wait will be worth it!

Volunteer Handler


Volunteer Handlers play an important role in our program. Volunteer handlers are responsible for attending outings and acting as stand-in puppy raisers.

Volunteer Handlers are Responsible for:

  • As a volunteer handler you will learn how to teach FRSD pups the skills they need to make them successful as service dogs.
  • Teach the puppy good manners and basic commands and skills as instructed by our trainers on outings.
  • Meet with the trainer and puppy raisers to take the puppies to new, interesting, and age appropriate locations as a group (which may include stores, parks, restaurants, and more).
  • Volunteering as a handler is right for you if you are interested in puppy raising but:
    • Cannot make the time commitment to raise a dog for 12- 18 months.
    • Want to learn more before making the commitment to raise a dog.
    • Have free time, want to raise a puppy but your housing situation does not permit dogs.



Volunteers can assist FRSD in a variety of ways:

  • Puppy raising an FRSD puppy in-training
  • Volunteer Handler
  • Hosting FRSD at meetings, conferences, or fairs to spread awareness about FRSD’s mission and dogs.
  • Conducting home visits for prospective puppy raisers
  • Hosting fundraising campaigns or events
  • Assisting with puppy socialization
  • Donating items such as towels, blankets, food, mobility devices (canes, rollators, wheelchairs)

Please Note:

Foliage Retrievers does not train dogs that are already owned by individuals. We are unable to make referrals to other organizations. Please contact Assistance Dogs International for information about other organizations who may be able to help.
Foliage Retrievers does not have a program for emotional support or comfort animals nor does it train such animals. We are unable to make referrals and suggest talking to a trainer in your area who may be able to help.