Rearing puppies and young dogs, also known as pre-training
The modern age is very dynamic and hectic and the environment we live in is exactly the same. People with visual impairments find it difficult to safely move around cities when they are in full flow. A guide dog is a massive help here, simplifying and calming the journeys they take together. For this to work, though, the dog has to know its way around the confusion of the city. Proper preparation from a very young age is therefore the foundation on which a successful and satisfied guide dog is built.
The time during which puppies are reared is incredibly important for the future of the dog. We learn most about what personality traits the dog has, what its weaknesses are and where it excels during its first year of life. The health of the growing puppy is also kept under regular supervision. Taking in everything that the city brings, moving around a noisy environment, among lots of people, cars, sounds and smells and using means of transport – none of this is natural to a little puppy, but at the same time essential for its future role. We usually begin rearing puppies by weaning them off their mothers (7-8 weeks), ending this stage with the puppy starting its training (around 12 months).
There are also dogs that we come across in their youth. They all have the qualities required for their future roles, have grown up in a known environment, are healthy and are still young enough to comfortably get used to their new way of life.
In both cases there is sufficient room to get to know the young dogs, to carefully monitor their nature and health and, if they do not satisfy any of the fundamental conditions, to remove them from the preparation process. Such dogs await the life of a household pet rather than that of a guide dog for the blind..