We often get asked questions from people wanting facts about guide dogs. Here are top ten facts:
1. Our puppies on the puppy development programme, our dogs in training and our breeding stock and pups in the breeding centre eat up to three tonnes of premium dog food per month!
2. We have a staff member dedicated to finding new homes for those dogs that aren’t suited to guiding work. This is sometimes with another service or as a pet in a home where the family will care for them and give them a happy life.
3. The first guide dog was established in Germany in Oldenberg by Dr Gerhard Stalling in August 1916. This was to help guide service men blinded in WW1.
4. Our puppies are normal puppies and do normal naughty puppy things – they aren’t miniature guide dogs.
5. The puppies live inside the home as a member of the family.
6. They have plenty of ‘play’ time when they aren’t out in their red coats
7. Guide dogs are not robots, they can make mistakes!
8. We operate every day of every year as our dogs and pups need constant care and attention. Over the Christmas holidays we had 29 baby puppies in the guide dog centre with staff caring for them seven days per week.
9. Each litter is named after a letter from the alphabet and in alphabetical order.
10. Their red coat (and ID medallion) mean that they have legal access to all public places.