The Guide Dog Association’s core activity is to assist blind and partially sighted children and adults to a new freedom with a specially trained Guide Dog.
Training starts with Puppy Walkers, who within 10 to 12 months turn a six to seven-week-old fluffy puppy into a dog, ready for harness training. This is done at one of five or six Centres nationally.
At around 22 to 24 months of age, the dogs are ready, and dog and client can form a partnership that is truly life transforming – just ask anyone who has a Guide Dog!
The total cost of breeding, training, supplying, welfare costs and user training visits costs the association £50,000+ per dog. At any one time, Guide Dogs may have 9,000 dogs in their care. These are puppies, dogs in senior training, working dogs, breeding stock and retired dogs. More than 5,000 dogs are currently working, and the need shows no sign of abating.