We had a special visit today from Guide Dog UK puppy 'Cooper'.
Our former Marketing and Business Development Director, Robin Evans and his partner Sue are registered puppy walkers for Guide Dogs UK and, with the kind permission of the charity, Robin brought Cooper to work for the morning in order to get him used to an office environment. Cooper spent most of the time perfectly well behaved beneath Robin's desk whilst he got on with his day job.
Our staff have been following Cooper's progress and were delighted to see him this morning.
The role of a puppy walker is to introduce socialisation and education in the early months of a guide dog's life. Puppies begin their training from just six weeks of age and stay with their puppy walker until they are around one year old. The puppy is then transferred to a specialist training centre where they will learn further skills.
The puppy walker programme is used to produce a puppy which can behave properly in social situations as well as making sure they are friendly and responsive to the owner. The puppy must feel relaxed in all environments, ranging from busy town centres to the countryside. In these conditions the puppy must also be relaxed and confident when travelling on various different methods of transport. Guidance is given to the puppy walkers from the staff at Guide Dogs UK in order to achieve the best results and produce an excellent guide dog which will help its future owner for years to come.