Temporary Boarding

Mind a dog-in-training

The role of a Volunteer Temporary Boarder is to provide essential support to our trainers in meeting the care and welfare needs of our dogs.

There are a number of different types of Temporary Boarders, and we have different requirements depending on the dog and the situation. Some dogs require boarding to try to work on a particular training task, others do not cope with being in kennels and do better training from a home environment and some are already qualified and in need of a holiday home as their Puppy Raiser is going away. We will try and match you up with a dog that is suitable for your level of expertise and availability.

Types of Temporary Boarding

Type 1: Assist long-term Puppy Raisers 

These Temporary Boarders will take a pup while their Puppy Raisers goes on a holiday. This could be anywhere from a weekend to 3 weeks. Pups are typically four - 12 months old. 

Type 2: Formal Training at Headquarters

When our dogs come into our Training Centre to start formal training at 12-14 months old, some dogs find the adjustment to kennel-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 a few weeks to six months.

Volunteers must live or work within the local area. Responsibilities include the drop off and pick up of dogs. Drop off is between 8:15-8:30am and pick up is between 4:30-7:00pm. Dogs are typically 13 months of age. Volunteers will mind the dogs in the evenings (Monday through Friday), weekends and holidays should they have the dog during a holiday time frame.

Type 3: Respite Coverage

Volunteers take a dog home during a holiday (Christmas) or illness recovery. The dogs do not have to be dropped off and picked up at the Centre daily. However, the Volunteer must be able to drive initially to collect the dog and to drop them back to our Training Centre when their stay has ended.


Eligibility criteria to temporarily board a dog in training

  • There should be no more than two dogs in the home. All dogs should be over 12 months old, neutered/spayed, up to date on all vaccinations and well-behaved around other dogs.

  • The dog must not be left alone for more than four hours.

  • You have a fully enclosed garden with walls or fences minimum 5ft high.

  • The dog will live inside, day and night.

  • Children in the home must be over five years of age.


What support will I get?

Upon approval of your application, you will be signed up to our e-learning course for Temporary Boarders, which will give you guidelines and advice on caring for a working dog in training. This must be completed by every new boarder before they get their first dog. Once a dog/pup is placed with you, the dog’s/puppy’s trainer or Puppy Raising Supervisor will maintain contact with you to track the dog’s progress, and to assist with any issues that may be arising in your home.

What are the benefits?

  • Be part of a dynamic organisation and meet new people

  • Make a difference to an important charity and the work we do changing lives of those who are vision impaired and the families of children with autism

  • Share a home with a wonderful dog

  • Opportunity to learn about dog behaviour

  • Assisting long-term Puppy Raisers

Areas for Temporary Boarding


(No more than 2 hours from our headquarters on Model Farm Road, Cork): 

  • Cork

  • Clare

  • Kerry

  • Limerick

  • Tipperary

  • Waterford


  • Dublin

  • Kildare (Maynooth, Naas, Sallins, Newbridge, Leixlip)

  • Wicklow (Blessington, Bray, Delgany, Greystones)

  • Meath (Ratoath and Dunboyne)

  • Wexford (within 1.5hrs of New Ross)

  • Westmeath (Athlone, Mullingar)

  • Offaly (Tullamore)


  • Galway (Oranmore, Tuam, Athenry, Gort, Loughrea, Ballinasloe, Craughwell)


  • Donegal

  • Letterkenny

What is the application process?

Complete the online application form below and attend one of our scheduled webinars. These webinars provide detailed information about this volunteer role. Your application will be reviewed, and we will then invite you to a short 20-minute phone call to get to know you better. We then provide you with e-learning material to complete. The final stage is getting your home approved and this is done by means of a virtual home visit. Once your home has been approved and you sign the agreements, we then place you on the waitlist for your puppy.

Upcoming FREE Information Webinar
  • Wednesday 1 May at 7pm

  • Wednesday 15 May at 7pm

  • Wednesday 19 June at 7pm

  • Wednesday 26 June at 7pm

If you would like to talk to one of our team, please call 0818 506 300 or email

Read a Temporary Boarding Volunteer's experience

Please complete the following form to sign up to become a Temporary Boarder and we will respond via email.

Please ensure you have read the eligibility criteria mentioned above before applying to become a Temporary Boarder.

Have any questions? Contact us today at: 0818 506300 or email:

Do you have an enclosed garden?*

By submitting this form, your information will be shared with us in line with our privacy policy

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Being a Guide Dog Owner is such a privilege and positive experience. Buttons has enhanced my life in so many ways and I will always be grateful for that.

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