GUIDE DOGS: Can you care for a puppy?

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Guide dogs bring freedom and independence to many people with sight loss across the north east.

I am a puppy training supervisor and my role is to help guide dog puppies to develop into these life-changing dogs.

I couldn’t do this without the dedicated volunteer puppy walkers, who take dogs from the age of seven weeks to live in their homes until they are about 14 months old.

Volunteers will socialise the dogs in different situations and teach them essential commands, as well as provide a loving, secure home.

It is a demanding role as the dog is with you 24/7, and even guide dog puppies will chew things or have an ‘accident’ when they are very young. However, it is hugely rewarding to see a little pup grow and develop into a potential life-changer.

Guide Dogs wants to enable more people with sight loss to get out and about so we have more puppies to train and need more volunteers.

You will need a secure private garden, time, patience and be in a position where you will not leave the dog for more than a couple of hours a day.

We provide injections, food and cover vets’ bills. I will also support you through regular one-to-one meetings and monthly puppy training classes.

Puppy walking would suit someone who loves dogs, but possibly can’t commit to long-term ownership. It is sometimes challenging, but hugely rewarding and lots of fun.

Most of all, volunteers have the satisfaction of knowing that they will help a person with sight loss to live the life they want and deserve to.

So why not join our friendly team? To find out more contact my colleague Claire Devine on 03451 430220 or claire.devine@guidedogs.org.uk

Graham McKinney

Puppy Training Supervisor