Canadian Intervention and Assistance Dogs
Canadian Intervention and Assistance Dogs

Puppy Raising Program

What is a puppy raiser?

•    A puppy raiser is a volunteer who raises a puppy from around eight weeks old until they are 12-18 months old when they move out to work with the advanced trainer.
•    They help prepare puppies through a supervised obedience and socialization skills program
•    They attend regular obedience classes with an approved trainer and complete assigned home training tasks
•    The puppy goes out in public places and to work with them (when allowed)

Who can be a puppy raiser?

•    Be 18 years or older (kids can assist)
•    Love dogs
•    Have lots of patience and time for the puppy
•    Understand they will not leave the puppy on its own for more than three hours and even then only once the puppy has gradually become accustomed to being left
•    Be flexible in their dog training and caring ideas in order to comply with CIAD service dog training methods
•    Be willing to sign a contract with CIAD regarding puppy raiser guidelines

What’s the cost of being a puppy raiser?

CIAD will cover most costs associated with being a puppy raiser this includes:
•    Vet expenses (with some exceptions i.e. complications from unapproved food/ treats/toys)
•    Food and treats, bowls
•    Collar, leash and harness
•    In training vest
•    Crate
•    Baths and approved toys

What am I expected to do?

•    Puppies will have public access 4-6 times per week (includes going to work, but additional exposure is encouraged)
•    Attend obedience training classes
•    Positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviour
•    Positive public exposures
•    Bring puppy to CIAD events that you are requested to attend
•    Have puppy in vest when in public
•    Be able to answer basic questions about CIAD and refer people to website or Board members

What happens when it’s time to return the puppy?

•    You will be contacted one month prior to when the puppy will go into advanced training
•    You’ll be given updates when appropriate on how the puppy is progressing in training
•    You’ll be invited to graduation ceremony, when appropriate (some handlers may wish for this to be private due to their PTSD)
•    On the day when it’s time to return the puppy, a Board member will come and receive the puppy and all puppy related items

What is a Puppy Sitter?

•    A Puppy Sitter is someone who is able to temporarily house and care for a dog
•    Sitter services may be needed on short notice (eg. for emergencies) or planned in advance (eg. vacations)

Courtney Porter, Trainer

A little about the trainer:

I’ve been into Obedience for quite some time now, I did an animal science degree and completed the companion animal behavior course there. I then went on to write my honors thesis in hormonal induced behaviors. After I graduated I volunteered with Litters and Critters as the foster care coordinator. I’ve worked with several rescues since then, helping rescues with obedience training to increase their chance of finding forever homes. When I was ready to move onto my next challenge I started teaching group classes with Petsmart as the Lead trainer at one of their locations. I went to Ontario to learn the group class curriculum for puppy, beginner, intermediate and advanced programs. After my time with Petsmart, I was ready for a bigger challenge where I could have more control over the program I was teaching. I then started my own business, Clever Canines Obedience Academy. I developed my own well rounded programs involving not only obedience, but body awareness and controlled socialization to accommodate all the key components of a puppy’s development. I’m very excited to be on board as the Trainer for CIAD and I look forward to seeing the dogs I’m working with develop into amazing working dogs!

I have 2 dogs myself, Newton and Murphy, which was a rescue with aggression, and ended up staying with me! I also have a horse, Magnum!

Get in touch

Volunteer. Contribute. Lend a Hand. Donate
There are many ways that you can help CIAD grow…by volunteering your time, talents or financial contributions to help us reach our goal of pairing service dogs with first responders.


 141 Hubley Rd
Barss Corner, NS B0R 1A0