Thursday, 16 June 2016

Help to socialise a Guide Dog Puppy

Learning Target = Help to socialise a Guide Dog Puppy


Guide Dog Introduction

Guide dogs give people who are blind or have low vision freedom and independence. They help people to get around safely and confidently. They also make wonderful companions.

Mary The Guide Dog Introduction

This year our class is helping to socialise a Guide Dog puppy called Mary. Mary comes to school and to some of our school events to get used to working around people and being in different environments.

Mary has come to our oral language class, helped us with our writing and she fell asleep in music class. We have learnt to be calm around the Guide Dog and she is starting to behave well in class.  

Mary is so cute and a little bit naughty because she is just a puppy.

The life of a guide dog
They start life as adorable puppies with a big future ahead of them. Blind Foundation puppies will hopefully grow into guide dog to act as the eyes for many Kiwis who are blind or have low vision.   Their five key phases of their life are:
  • Conception: Specially selected brood bitches and stud dogs are mated through the dedicated Blind Foundation Guide Dog breeding programme.
  • Socialisation: At approximately 9 weeks of age, each puppy is placed with a wonderful volunteer Puppy Walker (link to volunteers).  Puppy Walkers help pups develop the confidence and behaviour needed for the future. They introduce the puppies to situations guide dogs may face.
  • Training: After around 12 months with a Puppy Walker, the budding guide dog returns to the Blind Foundation Guide Dog centre for six months’ intensive training and assessment.
  • Working: once a dog is trained, they’re matched with a person who is blind or has low vision, who becomes their handler.   Together as a team, they can work for up to 9 years before the guide dog retires.
  • Retiring:  once a dog retires, they enjoy a leisurely life.  Often, that’s with the people who have played an important part in the dog’s life such as the handler or Puppy Walker.  Sometimes that’s with a new family.


  1. Hi EdgEwater 3 I love your dogs. It was fun
    from Christopher from EWC2

  2. thank you Christopher EWC2