Supporting you and the puppy
Regular visits and support
Puppy Walkers receive regular visits from their Puppy Walking Supervisors. These visits are normally carried out every four to six weeks although new puppy walkers are visited more frequently, especially in the first few weeks.
These visits are designed to give both parties the opportunity to discuss the puppy's progress and any concerns. Puppy Walking Supervisors monitor the puppy's health, standard of social behaviour and educational development.
They also provide practical support and advice on all aspects of the puppy's care and education including feeding, grooming, worming and environmental exposure, as well as demonstrating the best way to handle and train a puppy.
It must be emphasised that puppies, by their very nature, can cause damage in the home unless they are carefully supervised. Part of the Puppy Walker role is to teach the pups what is acceptable behaviour within the home, as it is important that the puppy can be left unattended. Our staff will provide advice and equipment to prevent damage to the home. Whilst we do not carry insurance to cover damage to property we do carry full public liability insurance for any injury or accidents that might be caused by our dogs.
It is vital that you have access to a local veterinary practice with 24-hour cover which is close enough to be reached quickly in an emergency.
Guide Dogs will pay all veterinary expenses while the puppy is in your care. The vet will forward an itemised account to the appropriate Guide Dogs Centre for settlement.
Our vaccination policy was drawn up under the guidance of our Veterinary Advisers. It is designed to ensure our puppies receive maximum protection in all situations, enabling us to start exposing them to the environment from a much earlier age than normal.
Before arriving at your home, your puppy will be vaccinated with the appropriate vaccine covering all the major diseases. The puppy will be vaccinated again in line with Guide Dogs' policies. Your Puppy Walking Supervisor will let you know when these vaccines are due.
All guide dog puppies are given treatment against roundworms before they arrive at your home. They are wormed again at two, three and six months of age. Your Puppy Walking Supervisor will provide the medication, together with instructions on how to give the treatment as well as general advice.
It is Guide Dogs’ policy to neuter all dogs other than active breeding stock. Timing will depend on the pup but males are usually castrated between eight and nine months of age, whilst the pup is with its puppy walker. The operation will normally be carried out by your vet and the puppy will convalesce at home. Your Puppy Walking Supervisor will assist you to make all the arrangements for this.
Bitches are normally spayed following their first season, which can occur any time after six months of age. If the season happens whilst still being puppy walked, it is far better to leave a bitch with you for the duration of her season (about three weeks) wherever possible. Where this is not practical, your Puppy Walking Supervisor will consider each case individually and give advice and options accordingly.