This week was Rochester’s first opportunity to meet up with 10 other puppies in training and their puppy walkers. Guide Dogs run regular classes to help hone the puppies’ training and help them get used to working whilst other dogs are present. Rochester has met lots of dogs in the last two months but mainly as part of socialising; in both the human and dog sense! He has to learn “how to be a dog” and learn to respect dog rules. As a result of this he isn’t afraid of other dogs and can read the signs of a dog that has had enough of his puppy playfulness!
Having learnt “the rules” he now has to learn to ignore other dogs when he’s working. He is a friendly little soul and Labrador/Retrievers are naturally sociable so it’s quite hard for him to “not say hello” when he meets another dog when he is out working. The puppy classes are an excellent chance for him to get used to this in a controlled environment.
For the humans involved it is also a great opportunity to meet other people doing the same task. Being a puppy walker is a lot of fun and feels a worthwhile thing to do. It does require time and commitment but not any particular experience of training dogs. Guide Dogs provide excellent support and encouragement for puppy walkers and puppies. If you would like to find out more, Swindon Guide Dogs are running a “Find out about puppy walking” event on Saturday 10th March at the Brunel Centre in Swindon. There will be people to talk to, lots of information and best of all LOTS OF PUPPIES! So if you think you might be interested come along and meet the team … oh and the dogs!!! Ben, Rory, Mya, Winter, Ella, Jodie, Ivy, Jasper and Rochester will be putting in personal appearances throughout the day. We hope to meet you on Saturday.