Puppy walkers

Puppy walking is a crucial part of Guide Dogs' work. Although done on a voluntary basis, it will take a lot of time, commitment and love from both you and your family. The end result, however, is a very special animal indeed.

The Role of a Puppy Walker

Puppy walker and guide dog owner walking along train platform.Puppy walkers play a vital role in the early socialisation and education of guide dogs. At about six weeks of age, puppies start their early training, remaining with you until they are around one year old, at which point they are transferred to a training centre to begin their specialised training.

The aim of puppy walking is to produce a puppy that is socially well behaved, friendly and responsive to the handler. It is also important that the puppy is at ease in all environments, including town conditions, is relaxed and confident when using all types of transport and learns an acceptable standard of behaviour on the lead. As each puppy is an individual, our staff will advise on the best way to achieve good results and the most appropriate time to introduce the puppy to these new environments.

Puppy walkers make a difference

"As a Guide Dog Owner, I'm really humbled that someone has gone to all the effort of puppy walking a dog for me. It's far from the occasional obedience class every second week or so. Real hard-work, dedication and time goes into this. To all the puppy walkers, thank you very much for giving these brilliant mates a great helping hand to where they end up!"

- Guide Dog Owner, Pipa, Dunfermline 


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Did you know?

Puppies are placed with puppy walkers at 6 – 8 weeks of age and will leave them at 12 – 14 months of age.

Puppy Walker Video

In this video Vicky, a volunteer puppy walker, explains some of the tasks that our puppy walkers perform. To view larger clip, click on the 'fullscreen' icon in the window.