Dogs for the Blind Association
("Guide Dogs") is one of the
UK's best-known, and
best-loved, charities. Guide dogs have been
bringing independence and
mobility to blind and partially-sighted people for over 75 years, and
today there are more than
4,700 guide dog partnerships in the UK.
Each year Guide Dogs breeds around
1,000 puppies, which spend their first year in the homes of
volunteers, before working with specialist trainers who teach them the
skills needed to guide a
visually-impaired person. This takes about
months, including several weeks' training with the new owner.
guide dog has a working life of around
six-and-a-half years, and it's
not unusual for someone to have five or more dogs over their lifetime.
While the guide dog service is at the
core of our activities, there are two other key aspects to our work:
- Campaigning on issues that affect the
quality of life of visually-impaired people and restrict their freedom
and independence - such as access, mobility and the availability of
- Educating the public about protecting
their eyes, and funding research into different eye diseases.
We have four
Dog Training Schools in
Forfar, a Breeding Centre near
Leamington, and 28 district teams across the UK. We employ over
professional staff, but rely equally on the support and dedication of
Preventing sight loss; particularly among
those who are visually-impaired but have some residual vision.