After puppy walking

When the puppy leaves

As a general rule the puppy will return to the training centre for formal training at around 12 months old. This will probably be a day full of mixed emotions for you and your family as your pup leaves you - but you should be proud that you have started its training for such a worthwhile job.

"It is nice to know what you are doing is so worthwhile and you get a real sense of achievement from it. When the puppy leaves, you know you've done your bit and it's going on to do the next stage of its training."

Guide dog in training

Once at the centre the puppy (now a young adult dog) will be allocated to a Guide Dog Trainer who will commence the next stage of its training. During this time you will receive regular training updates. When the dog has completed this stage it will progress to advanced training with a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor who will complete the final stages by training the dog with a visually-impaired person.

The graduate

We will tell you when your dog qualifies as a working guide dog and you?ll receive a framed photograph of the dog presented with our thanks for your work. The new guide dog owner is asked to contact you, just to let you know how the dog has settled.

When they don't quite make the grade

Inevitably, for a variety of reasons, not all puppies and young adults make the grade as a guide dog. If this happens, we will try to train the puppy into a different working role such as Dogs for the Disabled. If this is not possible you may be offered the dog back under our rehoming scheme. Alternatively we have a very long waiting list of approved people waiting to give one of our dogs a loving home.

Find out more about rehoming a guide dog.

"... I have been with Guide Dogs. Right from the very first tentative enquiry I made, all the way through to our guide dog puppy qualifying. As complete beginners and neither of us having had a dog since our childhoods, we were rather concerned about taking on such a commitment. Our fears were completely unfounded having been wonderfully supported initially by our puppy walking supervisor who had endless patience having to train us more than our puppy! Our supervisor then kept us so well informed after our puppy went in for her training and gave us a wonderful time when we went to Leamington to watch her work. Our supervisor has also phoned and kept us updated on her progress. The whole organisation has worked very well from sending us a Christmas card from our Guide dog to the excellent Open Day I attended. It is so rare to come across a large organisation who gets it so right and runs with such professionalism."

- Puppy Walker - based at Leamington


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