Whitby perfect for training up guide dogs

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Barking mad dog lovers in Whitby and the surrounding area who want to help blind people are being urged to come forward and join a puppy walking scheme.

Volunteers are needed to be puppy walkers so that more dogs can be trained up to go on to be assistance dogs.

Guide dog trainer Wendy Huggins''w133018a

Guide dog trainer Wendy Huggins''w133018a

There are only 80 puppy walkers in the North East at the moment between Whitley Bay and York and local training supervisor Wendy Huggins says Whitby is the perfect place to socialise and train dogs.

She said: “We want more volunteers in this area and want to generate some interest because Whitby offers quite a lot of opportunities for puppies in a varied environment.”

The puppies go to their foster home from the age of seven weeks until it is 12 to 15 months old. Walkers are expected to get the dog used to a variety of environments such as town centres, lifts and stairs, train stations and journeys on buses.

While there have been some mishaps along the way, Wendy, who lives in Danby, said it is a very rewarding role.

She told the Gazette: “One puppy walker was having a dinner party and left a roast beef joint and some profiteroles on the side and the puppy ate the profiteroles but left the beef.

“We have had them pooping in shops so you have to be quite broad shouldered but it is very satisfying to see them go out and be a pair of eyes for people.”

For more details contact 0845 371 7771