It’s not the kind of dog training Sue Kewley offers, but we’re a champion for the consistent dedication among those who train guide dogs. There’s a great deal of skill and effort in ensuring a guide dog is ready for duty. Guide dogs help those with severe visual impairments, and on average around 5,000 working guide dogs are trained every year. Not only can guide dogs assist their owners through daily obstacles, they become more than service dogs, providing companionship and comfort, especially for individuals who could usually find themselves lost or isolated.
Almost two million people in the UK have sight loss, and just under 1,000 people were paired up with guide dogs in 2016. The average working time a guide dog can expect to chalk up is six to seven years, usually reaching retirement age at 10 or 11 years old. This can prove a challenging time for both owner and dog alike, as the dog must be rehoused. Finding a home for the dog becomes a top priority, so they can enter retirement with a wealth of love and experience and absolutely enjoy their comfortable life as they reach their twilight age.
The charity Guide Dogs ensures that retiring dogs are offered to their original trainers before finding new parents who are able to take them in and give them the well-deserved break they need. In fact, retiring guide dogs can be perfect for families and retired workers, as they have a quiet temperament and remain well behaved around the home due to their extensive training and absolute respect for their doting owners.
Sue Kewley is full time training and behaviour consultant, having 30 years practical dog handling, training, and breeding experience. To organise a consultation please contact Sue today.