Here you can keep up to date with all your pup’s latest photos and videos of their journey to become a life-changing guide dog. We hope you enjoy watching your puppy transform into an incredible companion for someone who is blind or partially sighted. Thank you so much for your support; amazing people like you help make these special partnerships possible.
Hi, I’m Jade, Irvine’s Advanced Trainer. I’m preparing him to be matched with a new owner! I’ve been training guide dogs for 6 years. I love seeing the owner and dog partnership growing from strength to strength. I can’t wait to see this affectionate boy giving someone their freedom.
Finding his feet
At first, I gained Irvine’s trust by carrying out bonding activities such as grooming and visiting relaxing environments such as the coffee shop. This made sure the transition into advanced training went smoothly.
Irvine still has the big teddy bear that he’s had since puppy walking which is his all-time favourite toy. He also loves running around with fellow trainee guide dog, Scouter, a golden retriever. Irvine also has a cheeky side and likes to steal the brush from me during grooming sessions!
I start the day by giving Irvine a groom and health check. We jump in the car and visit environments where he will need to make complex decisions such as walking through crowds of people. Initially, Irvine liked to rush when wearing his harness but I’ve developed his patience and now he takes his time. Irvine moves around obstacles naturally and even makes sure to leave enough room for me too!
Irvine is an absolute pro on public transport, including the Tube! He tucks in under my legs so he is not in the way of other passengers. He is also starting to learn how to find the pedestrian crossing box so that his future owner can press the button to cross the road; I’m looking forward to seeing him master this skill soon.
The true test
We’ve also completed a blindfolded walk together which was a true test of Irvine’s skills. As his handler, I give off subtle body language that gives him an indication of what to do next. However, when I was blindfolded, Irvine needed to make decisions unaided. I am pleased to say he was brilliant! Irvine is known to be unsure of his harness and this has started to show again recently, I will be working on building his confidence to hopefully overcome this.
The perfect match?
Irvine will suit someone who is very calm and not in a rush so that he can relax and perform at his best.
Thank you so much for sponsoring Irvine, look out for your next Pupdate in February.
Irvine's latest video
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Irvine in action
Here’s six-week-old Irvine having fun at the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre. He’s an adventurous pup who loves running around the garden and playing with his sister Immie.
Sponsored guide dog puppy Irvine is at Pupdate 1 stage. He is with his puppy walkers, playing, having cuddles and learning the skills needed to become an amazing guide dog!
Sponsored guide dog puppy Irvine is at Pupdate 2 stage. He is with his puppy walker, visiting a farm, having cuddles and learning the skills needed to become an amazing guide dog!
Sponsored puppy in training, Irvine, is at Pupdate 3 stage. He is making great progress with his Early Trainer and is learning all the skills he needs to become a life-changing guide dog!
Sponsored puppy in training, Irvine, is at Pupdate 4 stage. He is making great progress with his Early Trainer and is on his way to transform the life of a person with sight loss.