Guide Dogs on the Buses

Three Bristol Guide Dogs for the blind have started training to take the bus.

Kaylea, Vixen and Fagel are learning how to use public transport as part of their ongoing training to become guide dogs for blind or partially sighted people. 

Learning about buses and bus stations is a core part of the dogs training. First bus are allowing the charity's puppy walkers use their buses for free.

John Welsman is the transport policy officer at Guide Dogs for the Blind. He is registered blind and uses a guide dog named Sorrel to help him in daily life. He said "Puppy training is vitally important. Ensuring a dog is able to cope and knows how to behave in a busy environment with lots of strange and unfamiliar noises is crucial. It is extra important that guide dogs know how to settle themselves on public transport, understanding where to sit and how to help their blind or partially sighted companion. During their training puppies could travel on the bus more than 100 times, with dogs that find the initial experience daunting exposed to it more and more until they become accustomed to it. The support we get from first, enabling our puppy walkers to travel for free, helps us significantly, allowing us to travel as often as we need to. We thank them for their help.