POOCH SMOOCHES: Australian Army soldier Warrant Officer Class Two Justin Carmichael, from Land 121 Training Wing, with Jed , and Royal Australian Air Force officer, Flying Officer Janet Mulder, from No. 452 Squadron Amberley Flight, with Jasper, prepare to take their foster puppies home for weekend care.
POOCH SMOOCHES: Australian Army soldier Warrant Officer Class Two Justin Carmichael, from Land 121 Training Wing, with Jed , and Royal Australian Air Force officer, Flying Officer Janet Mulder, from No. 452 Squadron Amberley Flight, with Jasper, prepare to take their foster puppies home for weekend care. CPL Nicci Freeman

Preparing RAAF working dogs for important job ahead

WORKING Dog Training and Supply Flight - now 11 weeks old - are about to graduate "primary school".

Breeding manager Sarah Fyfe said taking puppies out to social events is an important part of their development.

"We've been focused on socialising, along with starting some basic shaping training and going out on community engagements and starting their weekend home stays," she said.

"The social visits and home stays give the puppies more opportunities and life experience than we're able to give them on a day-to-day basis.

"They go to shopping centres and sporting events, as well as spend time with a family, to have that 'puppy life' as well as their military training.

"Our homestay families are handy because they help us to continue with their training. If we identify any can go home and do 'homework', which is really important for their development."

First time carer FLGOFF Janet Mulder said fostering a puppy was a good way to have a dog without committing to owning one.

"Initially I was only going to get Jasper for a weekend, but now we're at three weekends; I'm considering a three-month home stay, which is kind of crazy. I'm kind of attached to him now," FLGOFF Mulder said.

"The second weekend I had him, we took him out to a reserve and let him run around for a bit, then we went to the Eat Street markets and took him for a walk around the local lake as well, to expose him to different environments.

"We did spend a lot of time in the backyard playing with toys though. Jasper loves crushed Pump bottles because they make a lot of noise, but he also loves his Kong and tug toys too."

Carer tips

RAAFSFS breeding manager Sarah Fyffe has some tips for people who want to be puppy carers.

"We need people who aren't going to be leaving the pups home alone; people that can take the pups with them to places," Ms Fyffe said.

"Having children is fine, but the pups are very spirited, so they're going to dig and do naughty things. The best kinds of carers are those who somewhat indulge the pups and are able to deal with the rambunctiousness."

If you live in the Amberley or Brisbane area and would like to apply to be a puppy foster carer, email sarah.fyffe@defence.gov.au