High Quality Golden & Labrador Retriever

It starts with one incredible dog It’s hard to believe that in two years our amazing puppies will become some of the most responsible dogs in the country. Here’s a guide through the life of a Guide Dog or Assistance Dog from puppy to retirement.


First steps
Our puppies begin life with their mother (called a Brood Bitch) in the home of one of our Volunteer boarding families. By breeding our own dogs, we can ensure that they have the best temperament and characteristics.
Each puppy is introduced to various environmental stimuli in a controlled and secure way to allow the puppy to develop coping skills and encourage the pups confidence to grow.
All our litters are organised alphabetically.  The puppies in each litter are then given a name that starts with the litter’s letter.
Early learning At eight weeks, each puppy is placed with a Volunteer Puppy Raiser, whose role involves house-training, grooming, and basic obedience exercises. This education forms an essential foundation for the future.
It means the essential socialisation and training for each puppy to be confident and happy in a variety of settings e.g. busy town conditions and on quiet country roads, taking it into shops and railway stations, travelling on buses and trains and getting into lifts.
The puppy also needs to be able to cope with heavy traffic, road works, and loud
noises, behave well in restaurants, Public Gatherings, and generally learning to deal with every situation.

Off to school
When the puppy is 14 months old, it leaves family life to join up to other dogs at ourTraining Centre where they start “Early Training”. This phase lasts for five months with a specially trained instructor.The dog is taken on several walks each day where it is taught how to cross roads, to stop at kerbs and how to avoid obstacles that would cause problems for its owner.
It is brought into the city and shopping centres, to get used to the traffic and noise and also taken on buses, trains and lifts. It must also learn how to behave in places such as restaurants.

If the dog reaches the high standards needed to be a Guide or Assistance Dog, it will progress to another three months of “Advanced Training”. Here the instructor perfects the dog’s skills so that it can provide safe mobility for a visually impaired person or a special need person.
The instructor will look at how the dog behaves, its personality, whether it walks fast or slow, whether it prefers working in the country or city. From these traits the dog is matched with somebody on our waiting list who suits this particular type of dog. Getting the dog/owner match right is crucial and a lot of time and effort is put in to make sure the best possible partnership is made.


Out to work
At 2 years old our dogs are now ready to graduate as fully trained Guide or
Assistance Dogs. Having been matched with their new owner, they attend residential classes together at our Training Centre in Cork.
Once the dog and their owner go back to their own home, one of our instructors will visit to make sure they are both working well together and will help them to get to know different routes that the owner would make regularly, such as to work or shopping.


Retirement
A Guide Dog will begin to tire around the age of 10 and at this stage we will look at retiring the dog. This is a very difficult time for both dog and owner as they have spent many years together.
Sometimes the Guide or Assistance Dog owner will keep their dog as a pet for the remainder of their life. If they can’t, we always find a suitable home for these hard
working dogs.

New Born Puppies

New Born Puppies

Ready for adoption

Ready for adoption

Happy after Selection

Happy after Selection

Waiting for selection

Waiting for selection

Proud after selection

Proud after selection

Labrador Chocolate

Labrador Chocolate

Ready for Basic Selection

Ready for Basic Selection

Puppies before Selection

Puppies before Selection

On Duty

On Duty

Gold & Labs Opening Soon

Gold & Labs Opening Soon

After Induction Ceremony

After Induction Ceremony

Labrador Chocolate

Labrador Chocolate

Guide Dog Ready for Service

Guide Dog Ready for Service

Guide dog Yellow

Guide dog Yellow

Retired Duo

Retired Duo

Golden Retriever Guide Dog ready for basic training

Golden Retriever Guide Dog ready for basic training

Guide Dog after a refreshing swim session

Guide Dog after a refreshing swim session

Guide Dog ready to adopt

Guide Dog ready to adopt

Guide Dog Rare Black

Guide Dog Rare Black

Golden Retriever Guide Dog ready for basic training

Golden Retriever Guide Dog ready for basic training

Golden Retriever Guide Dog showing some skills

Golden Retriever Guide Dog showing some skills

Golden Retriever ready basic obedience training

Golden Retriever ready basic obedience training

 
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