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Dog for the Disabled want more volunteers in Brisstol to help them 'socialise' new puppies.
The charity provides the dogs to help people with disabilities live independently. Puppy socialisers take a young pup (usually a Labrador or Golden Retriever) into their homes for approximately one year giving them plenty of experience of the outside world before they commence their formal training at the charity’s National Training Centre in Oxfordshire.
Dog Training Manager for Dogs for the Disabled, Chris Allen, explains what the role of a puppy socialiser entails: “A young puppy needs to learn all the basics such as walking on a lead, sitting on command and the all important toilet training, but in addition our dogs need to get lots of experience of different sights, sounds and environments to ensure they are confident, relaxed young dogs when they start their formal training.”
Once fully trained an assistance dog is able to assist with everyday tasks that help a person with disabilities live more independently. A dog can be trained to open doors, pick up dropped items such as keys, a wallet or mobile phone or help a person to undress. But a dog offers much more than practical assistance, offering companionship, improving confidence and improving social interaction for the adults and children with disabilities they are partnered with.