**THIS SITE IS DEDICATED TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS WHO DEVOTE THEIR TIME AND EFFORT TO GUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND**
Information correct at time of Buddy’s training, November 2015-May 2017
please check the Guide Dogs for the Blind website for up to date information
ABOUT PUPPY WALKING FOR GUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND
It costs over £5,000 to breed and puppy walk each guide dog puppy and the lifetime cost of a guide dog is nearly £55,000.
Puppy Walkers (PWs) play a vital role in the early socialisation and education of guide dogs, taking on a puppy at 7 weeks old and providing a home and basic training under supervision and guidance to produce a dog that is socially well behaved, friendly and responsive to the handler. The puppy must quickly show itself to be at ease in all environments, and so the PW undertakes to introduce the puppy to shops, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, pubs, town centres, busy roads, lifts, hospitals, buses, trains and cars, in fact, wherever you can think of! It is important to note, however, that access for Guide Dogs is enshrined in law, but for puppies in training it is at the discretion of the premises. The following is an extract from the Guide Dogs for the Blind website about the criteria for becoming a Puppy Walker:
- A puppy needs to be welcomed into your home and its development and future role understood by all the family. It should be reared with a blend of affection, control, and supervision similar to that given to a young child. As a prospective puppy walker, who will care for and develop one of our puppies, it is essential that you consider the following criteria and questions:
- You must be at least 18 years of age to be responsible for the puppy. Whilst any children at home can enjoy lending a hand, it is important that any puppy training, e.g. lead work, is only carried out by a responsible person. Children aged 16 -18 may walk the puppy with supervision.
- Feeding, training and generally caring for a puppy’s needs on a daily basis is time-consuming and particularly when very young they cannot be left on their own for extended periods of time. Our general guideline is up to three hours maximum in the early days (building up from 20 minutes initially). Will you be able to commit the time required to look after a puppy?
- The puppy will need exposure to busy town conditions, traffic, shops and crowds on a regular basis. It will also need to be familiarized with car travel and public transport. Would you be able to provide a puppy with this range of experience?
- You need to have a suitable area in your home to accommodate the puppy with easy access to a hard surfaced or gravel toileting area.
Many Puppy Walkers also organise and/or help out at fundraising events, bringing their puppies so the public can meet them and learn about their training.
NAME A PUPPY SCHEME
Buddy was given his name through the Name A Puppy Scheme. This scheme enables people to name a puppy perhaps as a gift to someone special or in memory of a loved one. There are four levels:
- Donate a Name: Name a puppy, receive a puppy pack, including a photograph of the puppy, and a birth certificate.
- Walk: Name a guide dog puppy and receive personalised updates and photos throughout their first year, until they enter one of our National Training Schools and meet the puppy.
- Learn: Name a guide dog puppy, receive individual updates and beautiful photographs from birth to qualification as a guide dog, and enjoy the amazing experience of meeting them twice. It takes around 20 months to transform a tiny puppy into a confident guide dog, and you can proudly follow them every step of the way.
- Guide: If you want to support Guide Dogs with a larger gift, the Name a Puppy Guide scheme combines the benefits of our Learn scheme with extra, more personalised benefits. The benefits are negotiated with you by one of our fundraising staff and are subject to approval.
For more information about the Name A Puppy Scheme please go to:
As well as Puppy Walking there are many wonderful and rewarding roles for volunteers:
For information about volunteering please go to: