Help a guide dog make a difference

Joel Stavil (guide dog trainer at the Guide Dog Association South Africa) during a visit to the Wilro Lions. Photos: Adéle Bloem.

 

The Guide Dog Association of South Africa (GDASA) is looking for people who can help them raise their special puppies.

Puppy raisers are people who foster the future guide dogs for the first year of the pup’s life, and are responsible for socialising and caring for the puppies. Although it is a rewarding task, it can be very time-consuming.

In order to become a puppy raiser you need to be able to commit for at least 12–18 months, be able to attend training sessions during weekdays and live in Johannesburg, Pretoria or surrounding areas.

The pups are brought to the Training Centre for a 13-week puppy training and socialisation programme, which runs on a weekly basis. Thereafter, monthly group walks and home visits are done.

The puppies can only learn appropriate and desired behaviour when they are with their puppy raisers who will be able to teach them, that is why a home where the puppy would be alone all day during the week, would not be suitable.

It is very important that the pups are exposed to children of all ages throughout their upbringing as well as other pets, that is why multi-pet homes are preferred.

Puppy raisers will also need to ensure that the pups are:– Introduced to people of all races and ages, especially children

– Taught to relieve themselves only on command when on lead and working

– Introduced to and be able to behave in an appropriate manner in shopping centres, post offices, shops, restaurants, to name a few

– Taught how to behave in the home

– Taught how to behave around people

– Taught how to walk calmly on a lead and ignore distractions in the environment

All veterinary costs incurred for pups on the scheme, in addition to vaccinations, deworming and micro-chipping, are covered by the GDASA and when puppy raisers go away on holiday or females are in season,the pups will be boarded in the GDASA’s luxurious, air-conditioned kennels.

For more information, contact Leigh on 011 705 3512 or send an email to [email protected].

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at northsider@caxton.co.za  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

  AUTHOR
Adéle Bloem
Journalist

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