COPE puppies-in-training are placed with Puppy Foster Volunteers from the time they are 7-8 weeks old, until they are matched with their life partner, or move on to do their life’s work approximately 2 years later.
Because COPE dogs are destined for a fulfilling life with human partners, it is of the utmost importance that they be home-raised. This means being part of a family during their formative puppy-hood and into their advanced training years.
Ideally, Puppy Foster Volunteers are located in the Barrie and Innisfil area, within a reasonable traveling distance to the Canines In The Classroom Program locations at Bear Creek Secondary School (Tues, Thurs) and Nantyr Shores Secondary School (Mon, Wed, Fri).
- You are over 18 years of age.
- If you have a family, you must have all your family members’ support.
- You may have other pets, but no more than 2 dogs in residence and none under the age of 12 months. All other pets must be spayed or neutered.
- Your home will ideally have a safe fenced yard.
- You must have the transportation means to attend regular training classes with your puppy in Barrie on Tuesday evenings, and to transport your puppy to the Canines In The Classroom Program.
- You are available to care for the puppy during the day either in your home or at work when the puppy is not in school.
- You must be willing to devote up to 2 years to your puppy’s socialization.
- You must be willing to take your puppy with you on outings and into public establishments such as stores and restaurants.
- You must commit to and comply with the training methods used by COPE.
- You will have successfully completed our application and screening process.
A Puppy Foster Volunteer is the first, very important step in the life of a COPE dog. The responsibilities of the family are outweighed by the enrichment of having a puppy-in-training in your life!
- Raising the best dog possible in accordance with the training methods set out by COPE.
- Always leaving a positive impression with anyone who interacts with a COPE puppy-in-training.
And more specifically:
- Mandatory attendance at training sessions for you and your puppy-in-training.
- Transportation of puppy to training facilities in Barrie and/or Innisfil to participate in early puppy-hood training and advanced training, as well as other COPE programs.
- Socializing the puppy by systematically exposing him/her to different situations they will experience in their future work, under COPE’s guidance. That means, taking your puppy with you wherever you go!
- Be willing to purchase some basic puppy supplies, for example: toys, treats, toothbrush and toothpaste, brush, flexi-leash, bedding and bowls.
- COPE will provide the dog crate, regularly scheduled vet care, food, a 4 foot leash, exercise harness, and COPE ID (backpack and/or cape).
Timing: We regularly have the opportunity to welcome new puppies into our program.If you would like to be a Puppy Foster Volunteer, the application process begins by first completing the Pre-Application Form below.