The history of Guide Dogs

Guide Dogs is the world's largest breeder and trainer of working dogs

This photograph shows Frankland as part of the first four guide dog 'units' to be trained in Britain, in Wallasey, Cheshire, in October 1931The Guide Dogs story started in 1931 with two amazing British pioneers, Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond. These remarkable women organised the training of the first four British guide dogs from a humble lock up garage in Wallasey, Merseyside.

We’ve come a very long way since those early days. Today Guide Dogs is the world's largest breeder and trainer of working dogs. And thanks to our dedicated staff and volunteers – and your vital donations – we’ve helped over 29,000 people to achieve life-changing independence.

Want to find out more? Read the history of Guide Dogs as a word doc


Andrew GilzeanWant to dig deeper? We’ve got a fascinating history of dogs used as guides for blind people that covers Roman times to the present day.

The next 80 years and beyond

We may have a long and fascinating history, but our story is always evolving. Over the coming years we’re looking to increase the number of guide dog partnerships, but we’re also developing a broader range of services that will help more people who are blind and partially sighted people to get out and about on their own terms. As part of our strategy for the next 10 years, for example, we’re increasing the scope of our service to include a Buddy Dogs scheme for young people, and My Guide, a sighted guiding service, helping people with sight loss get out of their homes and engage with their community.

If you want to find out more about our vision for the future, the Guide Dogs Strategy 2010-2020 is the place to start. If you think you’d like to help us achieve our goals, you’ll find plenty of options in our support us section.




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Black and white photograph of guide dog trainer Captain Liakhoff

Captain Liakhoff, the trainer, picks a likely dog from the many which arrive on approval at the training centre in 1942.


In 1965 Blue Peter followed guide dog Honey through her training.

In 1965 Blue Peter followed guide dog Honey through her training. Here in 1981 are Simon Groom and Derek Freeman (Breeding and Puppy Walking manager) with Goldie and her pups.



Fact!

The first known example of a special relationship between a dog and blind person is depicted in a first-century AD mural – in the ruins of Roman Herculaneum.