The puppy will be chosen from the gorgeous trio, pictured above with mum Tara. Mum and pups are currently at the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre in Warwickshire, where they will stay until the pups are placed with their volunteer puppy walkers.
Already they’re showing their individual personalities, but there are some characteristics all future guide dogs need.
That’s where the Guide Dogs Breeding Programme comes in to ensure puppies being born are more likely to end up being part of wonderful partnerships. Pairing up a brood bitch with a stud dog is an extremely complex process, and involves looking back into their family trees to examine the health and temperament of their lineage.
So what about our pup’s parents? Well, mum of the litter, Tara, is a very friendly, sweet-natured dog who loves cuddles. She came from an extremely successful litter of 11 puppies – five of her siblings became qualified guide dogs, and the other five became breeding stock like her. She has given birth to one litter previously, and six out of seven of her pups have almost completed their guide dog training. So she’s clearly of great stock!
However, Guide Dogs matches dogs according to their genetic health background as well as their temperament. For example, there have been a couple of instances of a fairly common eye condition on Tara’s side of the family, so to minimise the chance of this condition reoccuring, Tara was
mated with Bart, a calm and confident boy who has no trace of this condition in his ancestry.
This incredibly detailed Breeding Programme is essential to the future of Guide Dogs, however the guide dog service is entirely reliant on public funding to keep it going. Guide Dogs breeds more than 1300 pups a year and each newborn needs a lot of specialist care and support, which is why your donations are so important. Gifts in Wills are especially crucial – two out of three guide dogs wouldn’t exist without them, and it’s how many people mark their support for the cause.
So, which pup in this lovely litter is the cutie that’s being sponsored by your donations? And which of the hundreds of readers’ suggestions we received was chosen as our new pal’s name? Find out in our issue on sale April 29…
To find out more about leaving a gift in your Will, contact Guide Dogs on 0845 603 1477 or visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/giftsinwills
Help us train the Yours puppy
We still need your help to get our pup through training! If you’d like to make a donation you can do it:
ONLINE: Yours Puppy donation
CALL: 0870 240 6993 (quoting the reference ‘Yours Puppy’)
TEXT: YOURS to 70020 to give £3*
POST: Freepost Plus RTCG-GHHH-YBUG, Yours Puppy, Guide Dogs, Hillfields, Reading Road, Burghfield Common, Reading, RG7 3YG. Make your cheque payable to ‘Guide Dogs’ and write ‘Yours puppy’ on the back (please include your name and address).
*You will be charged £3 plus one message at your standard rate. The appeal will receive 99-100 percent of your donation, depending on your provider. By using this service you agree that Guide Dogs may call you in the future. If you’d rather they didn’t, please text NOTHANKS to 83310, UK mobiles only