National Breeding Centre Patrons – Invest in the future of Guide Dogs

Every life changing guide dog partnership begins at the National Breeding Centre (NBC) with the birth of a puppy. 

Why do we breed our own guide dogs?

Until the 1960s we worked with adult dogs that had been kindly donated to train as guide dogs, with very mixed results.

We now breed our own dogs to ensure that the puppies (that we will train for up to two and a half years) are ideally suited for guiding work.  Before every mating, Guide Dogs carry out extensive research to select the right stud dog and brood bitch.  We look at their health and temperament as well as that of their siblings and previous litters.

It is vital that we maximise the health of our dogs to reduce the likelihood of them being withdrawn halfway through training, or shortly after qualifying, for health reasons, and can only do this by supervising every element of the breeding process.  Over the years our work has led to significant improvements in the overall health of the dogs we breed; for example with hereditary diseases like elbow dysplasia which affects 15% of the overall canine population in the UK, only affecting 0.8% of guide dogs.

In 2014 we bred more than 1400 puppies, which are all now in early training.  We expect at least 66% to qualify as a life changing guide dog, with many of the remaining dogs going on to other working dog roles. For example, a puppy who is withdrawn from training for being too inquisitive may go on to become an excellent police sniffer dog.

Why do we need your help?

It costs Guide Dogs £3.6 million a year to run this world class facility.  The guide dog service does not receive any government funding for this vital work and relies entirely on the generosity of supporters.

Every week, eight new people join the waiting list for their first guide dog. We can only meet that demand if we continue to increase the number of dogs that we breed and we need your help to do this.

A litter of 12 hour old puppies

As a NBC Patron your gift will make a tangible difference to the life of someone living with sight loss. We know that there are thousands of visually impaired people in the UK who rarely leave home alone.   With the help of a guide dog, they can build the confidence to go out alone, to meet people and live an independent life.

Please click here to read about the tremendous difference a guide dog has made to the lives of some of our service users.

National Breeding Centre Patrons

National Breeding Centre Patrons are donors that wish to support the important work of the NBC with an annual gift of £1000 or more.  We appreciate that this is a lot of money, but it is vital to ensure we continue to breed healthy, happy puppies that are suitable to train for guiding work.

Puppy sleeps in the arms of a NBC Patron during donor visit 

Regular Giving

If you would like to make your donation by monthly Direct Debit of £84, you can do this online here. Please select “National Breeding Centre Patron” in the drop down list under “What prompted you to donate today?”

One Off Giving

If you would like to make a one off donation you can make this here. Again please select “National Breeding Centre Patron” in the drop down list under “What prompted you to donate today?”

If you would like any further information about becoming an NBC Patron please call 0118 983 8737 or email

As an NBC Patron you are helping us to:

  • Breed more guide dog puppies, to meet the increasing demand for guide dogs
  • Enable more visually impaired people to lead confident and independent lives
  • Reduce the number of dogs that are withdrawn from training for health reasons
  • Breed dogs that are ideally suited to be guide dogs
  • Fund world class research into dog health

NBC Patrons receive:

An invitation to our annual Patrons event at the National Breeding Centre, where you will meet our expert staff, hear from guide dog users, network with other NBC Patrons and tour the amazing facility.

Recognition of your vital gift both at the NBC and on our website (should you wish). You can view our thank you page here.

A dedicated member of staff to look after you and answer any enquiries you may have about Guide Dogs.

A subscription to our bi-annual NBC Patron newsletter, which will keep you up to date with the work of the National Breeding Centre.


If you wish to discuss becoming an NBC Patron please call 0118 983 8737 or email nbcpatrons

Welfare staff check a puppy’s teeth

Welfare staff weigh a puppy

Welfare staff check a puppy’s paws