When our dogs come into our Training Centre at 12-14 months old to start formal training, some dogs find the adjustment to kennels life challenging.

To give our dogs the best chance of success we have a team of Temporary Boarding Volunteers who live or work within the local area of our Training Centre on Model Farm Road in Cork. These Volunteers drop the dogs off for ‘school’ in the morning at our Training Centre and collect them at the end of the day.

Under the direction of our training team, Volunteers mind the dogs in their own homes during evenings and weekends. Temporary boarders can have an individual dog from one week to six months. Opportunities available in Cork (training boarding) and Dublin (respite boarding)

What’s involved?

Our Temporary Boarding Volunteers live locally to our Training Centre and provide evening and weekend homes to our dogs that are completing their Guide or Assistance Dog Training.

From time to time dogs may need a boarding home to cover a holiday or hospital stay for their regular owner. As a temporary boarder you would drop the dog off at our Training Centre every morning and collect the dog in the evening – we refer to it as the school run!

What is great about this particular Volunteer role is that because the dog is “at school” during the day it really suits people who work. The length of time the Volunteer boards the dog can vary: it may be for a few weeks or it could be for the duration of the dog’s training (6 months).

Where can I volunteer in this role?

Living close enough to the Training Centre on Model Farm Road in Cork to drop the dog off for training in the morning and collect the dog in the evening.

What support will I get?

Every month we hold workshops for potential new recruits into our temporary boarding team of Volunteers. Once you have completed your training workshop we provide ongoing support from our Temporary Boarding Officer and the dogs Trainer.

What are the benefits?

  • Be part of the Breeding Programme for Irish Guide Dogs
  • Be part of a dynamic organisation and meet new people
  • Make a difference to an important charity
  • Share a home with a wonderful dog

How do I apply?

Please complete the Volunteer Application Form and our Temporary Boarding Officer will contact you shortly to discuss the options in more detail.

If you would like to talk to one of our team please call 1850 506 300 or email [email protected]

We would be happy to welcome you to the centre for a look around, cup of tea and a chat.

Volunteers experience

“We had wanted a dog for a while but felt that it wouldn’t be fair to have a dog who was home alone most of the time with our work schedules.  The kind of dog we wanted, a big dog, would need lots of exercise, and during the week and it would be hard for us to meet those needs.

“We found out about ‘temporary homing’ dogs for the Irish Guide Dogs through a friend.  It sounded like something we might be interested in, so I got in touch to find out more.  After learning about some of the requirements (having an enclosed back-garden, reinforcing some of their training, etc) and the services offered it sounded like a good deal.

“We’ve had 5 dogs over the past 10 months. Depending on the stage of their training each dog stays a different amount of time, so far for us the shortest stay being 2 weeks and the longest being 7 months.  The first few days are about getting to know one another, teaching the dog the ‘rules of the house’ and reassuring them.

“They tend to settle into routine fairly quickly and just want to play, be petted, and snuggle.  Dropping and collecting the dogs each day at HQ is an extra step in our regular routines but very rarely has it been problematic, and the kennel staff are all very friendly and accommodating.

“It’s been special knowing we have been a part of helping someone’s everyday life be easier by helping these dogs through their training.  We get the benefit of having the company of the dog and the entertainment of playing with them. I’ve found it very relaxing having a dog around.

“The hardest part is ‘giving’ them back at the end of their time with you, but you know it is for a good reason and that they are going on to do amazing work, so that takes the sting out a bit!  Plus there is always another one waiting to come home with you for that extra love and attention.”

Volunteer Marie Deegan

Volunteer Marie Deegan´s Irish Guide Dog journey first began in a pub in Balbriggan.

Read more

Volunteer Phil Geoghegan

One of the most prolific Volunteers Irish Guide Dogs has ever had, Phil Geoghegan has helped raise almost €1 million for the charity over the course of the last 28 years.

Read more

Volunteer Application Form










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