Chance to get involved in dogs’ training

Local volunteers are being sought to help Guide Dogs Scotland with a vital stage in their dogs’ training.

The charity is calling on people in the Forfar to volunteer as temporary boarders for trainee guide dogs, giving them a home for around 12 weeks at a time.

When dogs reach their advanced training, they are boarded out as trainers have found that dogs living with a boarder learn better and make the transition into home life with their new guide dog owner more easily.

It presents a great opportunity for the whole family to get involved in making a massive difference to the lives of blind or partially sighted people.

The role requires the dog to be dropped off at the Guide Dog Training School at Orchardbank Business Park in Forfar between 8am and 9am, and then collected again at the end of the day between 5pm and 6pm. Boarders also look after the dogs at weekends and over bank holidays.

The dogs usually stay with their boarders for the whole training period as moving homes can be unsettling for them and disrupt their learning.

No previous dog experience required as full support and training will be provided as well as all the necessary equipment and food.

Emma Murton, Guide Dogs volunteering consultant, said: “If you’d like to have a chat to find out more, please get in touch.

“Many volunteers find boarding rewarding as it means having a dog during ours that fits around their work, developing a great understanding of what guide dogs do and who they are trained, and making a really valuable contribution to the lives of people with sight loss.

“We are also recruiting for other volunteer roles at our Forfar Training School such as drivers, puppy walkers, guides and speakers.”

Anyone interested in any of these roles can contact Emma Murton on 0845 372 7406 or e-mail Emma.Murton@guidedogs.org.uk

There are around 530 guide dog owners in Scotland and volunteer boarders play a crucial role in these lif-changing partnerships.

Further information about Guide Dogs Scotland is available online at www.guidedogsscotland.org.uk