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IGDF Members E-Newsletter April 2024
Organization: Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind
Location: Ireland (National Headquarters and Training Centre, Model Farm Road, Cork)
Job Type: Full time
Deadline: October 11, 2021

Job Description

Contact at organisation: Eileen Collins, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Phone: +353 85 8009227


Purpose of the Role:
The Puppy Raising Supervisor is responsible for the assessment, selection, training and line management of Volunteer Puppy Raisers who directly care for and socialise our pups in their homes.

The role involves managing our Puppy Raising Programme that is made up of Puppy Raisers and Temporary Boarders. A critical element of the role is to manage the health and temperamental soundness of our pups to ensure the maximum number of suitable puppies progress to formal training and go on to become Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs.

Reports to:  Shared Services Supervisor

Volunteer Responsibilities:  Approximately 40 Puppy Raisers and Temporary Boarders

Hours of Work: 37.5 per week

Key Accountabilities: 

  1. Responsible for the recruitment, training, management and retention of Puppy Raisers and affiliated volunteers – e.g. Temporary Boarders to ensure a sufficient number of suitable Volunteers are in place to meet the planned allocation of puppies.
  2. Identifies puppy temperamental and behavioural issues and ensures that application of appropriate training plans. Highlight all health issues and promptly refer them to be reviewed.
  3. Virtually plan, organise and conduct regular training classes to provide best practice, education and support to Puppy Raisers and Boarders. Ensure any additional support for new Puppy Raisers is available as and when required. Face-to-face visits scheduled on an as needed basis.
  4. Consistently and continuously assess, monitor and record all puppies’ social, educational, temperamental and physical development in accordance with Irish Guide Dog for the Blind’s Puppy Raising Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Maintaining accurate and current documentation and record-keeping including updating of our bespoke inhouse system, PAWS, and health records. Highlighting all health issues and promptly referring for review.
  5. Manage the placement of puppies with Puppy Raisers within their puppy raising programme / scheme. Identify puppies that are ready to be included in the intake pool for training and recommending those that should be withdrawn in accordance with Irish Guide Dog for the Blind’s SOPs.
  6. Plan, organise and conduct a blended training curriculum that includes a combination of classes and private sessions both virtually and face-to-face according to Irish Guide Dog for the Blind’s Puppy Raising Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  7. Provide input to breeding department on pups tagged as potential brood stock.
  8. Assist and communicate with the technical team to ensure best success for pups on scheme.
  9. Support the North-West scheme by scheduling to visit/train Puppy Raisers. Requires 1-2 overnights. Minimum of 5 visits per litter.
  10. Drive a continuous improvement mindset.
  11. Must compete Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind trainer apprenticeship programme.

In addition to these key accountabilities, you may also have ownership for one or more key processes. If you are required to take ownership of a key process, this will be communicated to you via your manager and/or the performance management framework. You may be required to be on call, outside of normal business hours.

All employees are expected to comply with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind terms and conditions, rules, policies, procedures, codes of conduct, quality standards, authorisation processes, risk management policies, etc. and any relevant external regulations.

Values and Behaviours:

IGDB places great emphasis on how people get the job done. For example we need people who are passionate about enabling persons who are vision impaired and families of children with autism to lead better lives and become more mobile and independent. Employees are expected to achieve these standards in order to fully meet the expectations of their role.

We value an environment that fosters high quality service, innovation, trust and respect. We are all leaders and responsible for the delivery of positive outcomes and progress for our Clients, Volunteers and Employees equally. We act with unwavering integrity and always seek to do the right thing. The following values are the basis for who we are, what we do and how we do it.

Values and Behaviours Description:

  • Respect: Treats Clients, Colleagues and Volunteers with equal respect. Is open-minded and tolerant of different views.
  • Teamwork: Supports a team environment which promotes wellbeing and maximises personal effectiveness. Communicates clearly and effectively with others.
  • Strives to be supportive, consistent and professional with Clients, Colleagues and Volunteers.
  • Optimism: Is solution focused and looks to bring a positive attitude to challenges. Celebrates wins and encourages others to do the same. Does not fear failure – believes we can all learn lessons for the next time together.
  • Conscientiousness: Takes pride in what is done and how it is done. Always presents a professional and capable manner in all tasks that are completed. Has a clarity of purpose, sets a good example for others. Is accountable for what is done and takes ownership for achievement.
  •  Integrity: Leads by example. Is fair and consistent when working with Clients, Colleagues and Volunteers. Takes ownership of achievements and responsibility for failure.
  • Excellence: Strives to continuously improve own performance.

Person Specification:

Job specific skills:

  • Ability to demonstrate aptitude for puppy and dog handling
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills
  • Communicate effectively using a good standard of written and verbal English
  • Team player and also able to work independently
  • Technical skills utilising platforms such as Zoom, WhatsApp. Microsoft Excel (desirable)

Previous relevant experience:
Previous practical experience in at least one of the following areas:

  • Animal welfare or behaviour
  • People management
  • Teaching or mentoring

A sound understanding in at least one of the following areas, gained through practical experience:

  • Animal welfare or behaviour
  • People management
  • Teaching or mentoring

Dog trainer or similar dog training experience (desirable).

Other requirements:

  • Full clean driving licence.
  •  Must be eligible to work in Ireland.
  • Full Garda Vetting.
  •  You will be required to travel nationally to meet with Puppy Raisers and assess puppies. Overnights will apply to distant areas.
  •  Must be on call to cover all schemes at least one weekend out of the month and alternate with team for holiday schedule.
  • You may be required to work outside of normal working hours from time to time to meet Puppy Raisers.

How to Apply

Please send your Cover letter and CV to