Skip to content

JAWS Users: We recommending using Internet Explorer as your browser.

Job Opening: Puppy Trainer

Home / Job Opening: Puppy Trainer

Guide Dogs of the Desert is currently looking for a Full-Time Puppy Trainer. If you are interested in the position, please fill out the Application below the Job Description, and e-mail your resume to

Since 1972, Guide Dogs of the Desert (GDD) has made a difference in the lives of individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Over the past 45 years, more than 1400 client/dog teams from around the country have graduated from Guide Dogs of the Desert, enjoying richer, fuller and more productive lives. Attending a 28-day in-residence training program on campus, the blind individual is matched with the highest quality dog that is custom-trained to the individual’s personal needs and home environment – at no cost to the client.

Guide Dogs of the Desert is a service provider to the visually impaired supported by over 200 volunteers who raise puppies for training to be service animals for those in need. All dogs are AKC-registered pedigreed animals who are taught obedience and socialization before their intense specialty training as service animals begins.

Guide Dogs is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, totally reliant upon private sector funding.

Job Title:  Puppy Trainer

FLSA Classification: Non-exempt (eligible for overtime), Full-time

Supervises: No


The Puppy Trainer is responsible for the behavioral support of all puppies prior to their entry into Formal Guide Dog Training.  This position conducts ongoing assessments as well as providing training support to volunteer Puppy Raisers with the goal of preparing the puppies to become guide dogs.  This position will require working evenings, weekends and holidays.  Some travel for behavioral assessments may be required.


  • Act as the primary training contact for all volunteer puppy raisers – providing answers and follow-up on any training or behavior issues/questions/concerns.
  • Identify, document and address canine behavior issues with a detailed training plan and follow-up.
  • Conduct and facilitate early neurological stimulation and training for newborn puppies on campus (starting at age 3 weeks).
  • Complete home evaluations of potential puppy raisers.
  • Create and maintain online training content for puppy raisers.
  • Conduct in-person obedience classes (beginning, intermediate and advanced) – to be held evenings and during weekends based on attendee availability.
  • Evaluate and approve off-sight obedience class substitutions for puppy raisers.
  • Conduct Monthly Online Meetings for puppy raisers.
  • Provide Lesson Plans and feedback to Area Leaders for in-person meetings.
  • Attend all GDD puppy raising events and meetings (3-4x/month) focusing on observation, feedback and support for the puppy raisers.
  • Travel to Arizona as needed (approximately 2-3x/year) for puppy/equipment transport, behavior evaluations and training support.
  • Maintain written and computer records, according to established procedures as set forth by the International Guide Dog Federation.
  • Participate and represent Guide Dogs of the Desert for internal and external events, meetings and promotional activities.
  • Leadership – Maintains a positive, upbeat role in the company. Promotes and exemplifies Organization values, represents departmental objectives and interests to internal and external customers, and is accountable for responsibilities and own actions.
  • Customer Service – Follows up on complaints, questions, and concerns; responds to internal/external customer needs in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Teamwork – Develops and promotes teamwork and cooperation among colleagues and employees.
  • Safety – Demonstrates commitment to a healthy and safe environment and follows all safety and security policies and procedures.
  • Flexibility – Adapts to changing policies and procedures, as well as varying deadlines.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions

Education and/or experience

  • At least 5 years dog training experience – teaching skills and addressing behavior issues
  • Previous experience with class instruction (more than 3 individuals)
  • CPDT-KA or equivalent preferred
  • Associates (AA) or Bachelor’s Degree (BA or BS) from an accredited college preferred

Required Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge

  • Knowledge of animal behavior, dog training skills, instruction skills
  • Must safely handle a variety of large breed dogs, weighing up to 90+ pounds, with varying strength and manageability.
  • Ability to providing a safe and humane training environment for the dogs you are working with
  • Ability to instruct, a wide range of individuals, demonstrating patience, understanding, flexibility, and overall interest
  • Ability to adhere to all safety and health policies and procedures
  • Ability to exercise professional conduct and maintain a high level of confidentiality in all duties
  • Ability to establish and maintain professional, productive and courteous relationships with staff, volunteers, donors, clients and all constituents of Guide Dogs of the Desert
  • Ability to promote positive teamwork while performing work activities requiring interacting or speaking with others and responding appropriately to constructive feedback or suggestions for improvement by a team member
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, i.e. non-traditional business hours, overnights, weekends, holidays
  • Ability to travel when necessary
  • Has excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as strong organizational skills and ability to handle multiple tasks
  • Ability to effectively present information and represent Guide Dogs of the Desert to clients, co-workers, general public

Required Technical / Certification / Licenses

Valid California driver’s license and safe driving record

Able to pass a pre-employment drug test and background check


  • Regularly lift and/or move up to 30 pounds
  • Regularly required to walk, stand, reach with hands and arms, climb stairs, balance, talk clearly, and with have good distance, peripheral and depth perception vision, especially as it relates to observing raisers and puppies in training situations.

Please fill out the Application Below, and send your resume to

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Name
  • Present Address

  • Full-time / Part-time / Temp
  • Are you available for work on:
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Are you at least 18 years old?

  • Have you ever applied to or worked for Guide Dogs of the Desert before?
  • Do you have any friends or relatives working for Guide Dogs of the Desert?
  • If hired, would you have a reliable means of transportation to and from work?
  • Are you able to perform the essential functions of the job for which you are applying, either with or without reasonable accommodation?

  • High School

  • High School Address
  • College / University

  • College or University Address
  • Other / Vocational / Business

  • Other / Vocational / Business School Address
  • Answer the following questions if you are applying for a professional position:
  • Are you licensed / certified for the job applied for?

    (Check appropriate boxes. Include software titles and years of experience.)

  • NameOccupationTelephoneNumber of years acquainted 
    List below three persons, not related to you, who have knowledge of your work performance within the last five years
  • NameOccupationTelephoneNumber of years acquainted 
    List below three persons, not related to you, who have knowledge of your work performance within the last five years
  • NameOccupationTelephoneNumber of years acquainted 
    List below three persons, not related to you, who have knowledge of your work performance within the last five years

    List below all present and past employment starting with your most recent employer. Account for all periods of unemployment. You must complete this section even if attaching a resume.

  • Supervisor’s NameTelephone #Dates of EmploymentYour Position and DutiesReason for LeavingMay we contact this employer for a reference? 
  • Supervisor’s NameTelephone #Dates of EmploymentYour Position and DutiesReason for LeavingMay we contact this employer for a reference? 
  • Supervisor’s NameTelephone #Dates of EmploymentYour Position and DutiesReason for LeavingMay we contact this employer for a reference? 
  • If not addressed on previous pages, have you ever been fired or asked to resign from a job?

    Please Read Carefully, Initial Each Paragraph and Sign / Date Below

  • I hereby certify that I have not knowingly withheld any information that might adversely affect my chances for employment and that the answers given by me are true and correct to the best of my knowledge. I further certify that I, the undersigned applicant, have personally completed this application. I understand that any omission or misstatement of material fact on this application or on any document used to secure employment shall be grounds for rejection of this application or for immediate discharge if I am employed, regardless of the time elapsed before discovery.
  • I hereby authorize Guide Dogs of the Desert, to investigate my references, work record, education, and other matters related to my suitability for employment and, further, authorize the references I have listed to disclose to Guide Dogs of the Desert any and all letters, reports and other information related to my work records, without giving me prior notice of such disclosure. In addition, I hereby release Guide Dogs of the Desert, my former employers and all other persons, corporations, partnerships and associations from any and all claims, demands or liabilities arising out of or in any way related to such investigation or disclosure.
  • I understand that Guide Dogs of the Desert may require applicants for employment to submit to a background check and/or to take a urinalysis for drug and alcohol screening as part of the selection process, and that any offer of employment with Guide Dogs of the Desert is contingent upon the results of these screenings being satisfactory. I understand that if I am employed with Guide Dogs of the Desert it may require that I submit to a drug and/or alcohol screen if there is reasonable suspicion that I am under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and I hereby authorize the release of these drug screen results to Guide Dogs of the Desert.
  • I understand that nothing contained in the application or conveyed during any interview which may be granted or during my employment, if hired, is intended to create an employment contract between me and Guide Dogs of the Desert. In addition, I understand and agree that if I am employed, my employment is for no definite or determinable period and may be terminated at any time, with or without prior notice, at the option of either myself or Guide Dogs of the Desert, and that no promises or representations contrary to the foregoing are binding on Guide Dogs of the Desert unless made in writing and signed by me and the Guide Dogs of the Desert’s, designated representative.
  • In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Write your full name. This is your e-signature.
  • We Are An Equal Opportunity Employer



Back to top
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Font Resize