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Dog Fosterer Volunteer

Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

The Dog Fosterer role is a fantastic opportunity for volunteers to provide a home for a dog whilst they undergo their training to become a Guide Dog. Fosterers are responsible for the care of the dog on evenings and weekends and for ensuring they attend their training sessions Monday-Friday. You must be over 18 to apply, however having children under 18 will not exclude you from becoming a Fosterer.

Main tasks and responsibilities:

  • Dropping off the dog for training at our Redbridge site at Woodford Green between approximately 7:30-9am and pick up 4:30-6pm on weekdays. Times will be discussed at interview.
  • Provide a welcoming and safe environment for a dog for the time required, 16-26 weeks. Providing a consistent home is particularly important for our dogs in training.
  • Ensuring the dog is fed and exercised as directed.
  • Embedding the same behaviour and commands as your supervisor.
  • In the event of an emergency, ensuring the dog receives veterinary care and Guide Dogs is informed immediately.

You will need details of two referees. Once complete, a member of the team will be in touch to discuss your application with you and your suitability for the role.

What skills do I need?

Skills, attributes, experience and qualifications

  • Have your own home or written permission to have a dog in the home.
  • Have suitable accommodation and a secure outdoor area.
  • Have a car and be able meet daily pick up and drop off requirements.
  • Enjoy working with dogs.
  • Be physically able to handle large breed dogs (around 25-40kg).
  • Able to follow all training and welfare guidelines provided by Guide Dogs.

If you don’t feel you tick every box but are keen to get involved, please contact us for a chat. We are open to suggestions where possible or may be able to suggest an alternative volunteer position.

Benefits from being a Dog Fosterer:

  • The satisfaction in knowing you are supporting people with sight loss to live actively, independently, and well.
  • The opportunity to care for and have the companionship of a dog for evenings and weekends.
  • The challenge and reward of seeing a guide dog develop in your home.
  • The opportunity to learn and develop your understanding in dog body language, learning theory, the human animal bond and the life of a guide dog.
  • Any pre-agreed expenses related to your volunteering with us in line with our policy. Volunteering for Guide Dogs should never leave you out of pocket.

Training and Support:

At Guide Dogs we recently achieved the Investing in Volunteers certification which means we take volunteering seriously and offer a great level of support and invest in our volunteer’s success. You will have a dedicated volunteer manager/key contact who will help you settle in and support you during your time with us.

This role has 6-8 hours of mandatory training, these modules include:

  • Essential Dog Knowledge.
  • Essential Dog Handling.
  • Dog Welfare and Training Techniques.
  • Ongoing training both virtually and face to face as part of the role.

If you have questions about the training requirements, we can answer these at your interview along with any other support or accessibility needs you may have. 

When do I need to be available?

Morning Afternoon Evening

Various times by arrangement.

Register your interest

We limit the number of roles you can initially express an interest in to 3 opportunities. Please only register an interest in 3 roles maximum.

  • Ideal for people interested in
  • Animals and Wildlife
  • Disabilities
  • Ideal for people who like
  • Animal Care
  • Application Process
  • Online Application
  • Support provided
  • Access to group meetings/socials/team events
  • Access to telephone/online support
  • Induction provided
  • Peer support / buddying system in place
  • Training provided
  • Volunteer Handbook available
  • Volunteer will have named supervisor
  • Expenses reimbursed
  • Equipment/protective clothing
  • Travel/mileage
  • Organisation Policies
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Safeguarding policy
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Volunteer Policy
  • Other Information
  • Expenses - additional information
    Travel and subsistence

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