Guide Dogs having been providing their service to people with sight loss since 1931. From humble beginnings Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond started this ground breaking charity by training the first four British guide dogs in a garage in Merseyside. This remarkable charity have transformed the lives of over 29,000 people. It all starts when you sponsor a puppy.
Why we decided to sponsor a puppy
- Every hour, another person in the UK goes blind
- 180,000 people with sight loss rarely leave home alone
- Almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss. By 2050, there could be nearly four million
- Guide Dogs rely on donations to continue our life-changing work. Every pound raised makes a difference to people in the UK living with sight loss
We’re happy to announce our involvement with Guide Dogs, our puppy’s name is Hope. Throughout 2020 we will post updates on the progress of Hope as she works through her training. It takes around 24 months to train a guide dog. We look forward to her journey from a puppy to Dogs training school and eventually transforming someone’s life with the gift of independance and friendship.
In addition to our sponsorship scheme Trident Insurance will make a further donation towards Hope’s training on all new policies placed with us throughout this year. When you take out an insurance policy with us you’ll be helping sponsor a puppy and changing someone’s life.
Puppy Update 1
At 6 weeks old Hope attended a week at the Guide Dogs National breeding centre where her health and temperament were accessed. Hope has now been assigned to her puppy walker and will stay with her puppy walker for around 12 months. Puppy walker’s care for puppy’s as they start their training to become guide dogs. Hope has become part of her puppy walkers family and is learning about her new world, her puppy walker makes sure that Hope learns how to socialise which means exposing her to as many different sights, sounds and smells as possible to build her confidence in new environments. She’s been attending regular puppy classes, where she is learning basic obedience skills. After 12 months our puppy walker will say goodbye to Hope as she goes off to training school.
Puppy Walker assessment 1
Hope can be very strong-willed and picks up new skills really quickly. I’m extremely impressed with Hope’s recall skills as she always comes back when called. Sometimes she can be a little enthusiastic when on the lead and can pull slightly, but I am teaching her to take her time and slow down.
Hope is such a friendly pup so she can often get a little distracted by other dogs. It’s still early days though and I will be spending time improving her focus over the coming months.
Since lockdown, Hope has been practising skills within the home environment and has now resumed her training in supermarkets! She was an absolute star abiding to the social distancing rules and patiently waited for her Puppy Walker Helen to complete her shopping.
Hope continues to be a happy and willing dog. Due to the restrictions caused by coronavirus, we’ve had to adapt Hope’s training, but she has adjusted really well. She’s even gotten used to us wearing face masks!
Recently, we’ve been navigating obstacle courses around the home, and ignoring food when left on the ground. Hope’s ability to stay calm and focused has improved and stays close rather than getting distracted by other dogs.
Hope is on her way to becoming a guide dog
Hope’s training moves up a level.Hope’s advanced trainer Laura has been a Guide Dog Trainer for twelve years. The best part of her job is interacting with the dogs. Laura love’s all the dogs she works with, and it’s rewarding knowing you’re playing a part in helping give independence to someone’s life.Hope is a sociable dog Hope has been great from the get-go. She’s settled in really quickly. We mixed Hope with some of the other dogs at training school which she loved as she is a very sociable pup.When Hope arrived at training school she travelled with fellow pup in training Jances. They love each other, and even bump into each other in the local park sometimes! It can be helpful to introduce the new dogs in training to some of the older pups as they can often pick up good behaviours – which we’ve definitely seen with Hope.I’ve been really impressed at how good Hope is at travelling in a van, which is testament to her puppy raisers who have similar set up in their car. This has helped us progress through training nicely as I haven’t had to worry about her being anxious in the van.
The only issue with Hope’s sociable personality is that she can be a bit distracted if I take her to busier places – she wants to say hello to people, and stop and have a sniff of new scents. Especially if Hope sees another dog, she can get a bit excitable and she loves to play! To combat this I’ve been taking Hope to quieter environments to begin with, and then gradually introducing her to busier places. I’m sure she’ll learn not to be distracted in no time at all.
I look forward to updating you on how Hope has progressed at training school in her next Pupdate.