Responsibilities of adopting
Adopting one of our former guide dogs, or a dog that has been withdrawn from training is a big responsibility as there is often more than one person who has had a vested emotional interest in the dog.
Before completing the adoption application form, please consider the following points:
- The dog will be totally dependent on you for food, veterinary requirements, company and play.
- Dogs can be expensive. Feeding, housing, fencing, worming, vaccinations, veterinary health checks, registration and holiday boarding are costs which must be met in order to adequately care for a dog.
- You must have a secure fenced section.
Most importantly, you must have time. All dogs need basic care and attention, feeding, grooming, exercise and careful training. If a dog is deprived of company and attention, it may result in anti-social behaviour e.g. chewing, barking, aggression or a breakdown in toilet habits. If you lead a busy lifestyle and you do not have time to spend with the dog during the day, you would be unwise to get a dog.
Whilst most of our dogs looking for a new home are young (aged 12-18 months), sometimes retired guide dogs (aged 9-12 years) will also become available. Most retired guide dogs are retired solely due to their age, so they can enjoy life as a pet dog. Occasionally a puppy under the age of 12 months may be found to be unsuitable to continue on the Puppy Development Programme and may be available for adoption.
Dogs may be career-changed or retired for a number of reasons. These reasons can include characteristics/medical conditions that are normal for many pet dogs, but are not acceptable for a guide dog. Often these characteristics/medical conditions can be managed or reduced with additional medication or training. Some of the more common behavioural conditions are:
- Over awareness of noise of objects.
- Over distraction with other dogs or animals.
- Heightened excitability
Some of these conditions may require your support, and may also be helped with obedience or other training.
Some of the more common medical conditions are:
- Hip or elbow dysplasia.
- Arthritis (elderly/retired dog).
- Eye problems.
- Skin problems.
Some of these conditions may require extra veterinary care, and in some cases require ongoing medical treatment – this can be costly.
The most common breeds we use are Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Labrador cross Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Standard Poodles. On occasion we may have other breeds we also need to find homes for.