Guide Dogs

Last month we took Binky on an outing to Southampton to visit The Guide Dogs Southampton Mobility Team. Binky met up with local fund raiser Katie Loucaides plus several guide dogs and puppies.

We want to introduce you to Yuri, a guide dog puppy, share with you what we found about this inspiring organisation and let you know how you can help them.

Guide dogs form extraordinary partnerships with their owners and all that good work starts with a puppy like Yuri. Yuri is a 3 month old pure breed Golden Retriever and he lives with a volunteer puppy walker. He will stay here until he is about 10-12 months old. During this time he is learning basic obedience commands and when he is around 14 months old he will go to one of four Guide Dog training schools to spend around 19 weeks developing basic guiding skills.

An organisation with a very clear vision:

We will not rest until people who are blind or partially sighted can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else. Every hour another person in the UK goes blind and when someone loses their sight Guide Dogs are there to make sure they don’t lose their freedom as well.

Facts about Guide Dogs

1. There are just over 4,900 working guide dogs in the UK today.
2. There are around 1,400 dogs who are in puppy walking and 650 dogs in guide dog training
3. Around 800 guide dogs are enjoying their retirement
4. Guide Dogs have their own world class breeding programme which ensures future generations of guide dogs are of the best possible quality
5. In 2013 it cost around £48 million to run the Guide Dog service
6. Its costs around £50,000 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement
7. It takes around 20 months of specialised training to transform a new-born puppy into a confident guide dog

Which breeds of dog make the best Guide Dogs?

56% of guide dogs will be Golden Retriever crosses
26% will be Labradors
10% will be Golden Retrievers
5% will be German Shepherds

How can you help Guide Dogs?

A donation of £5 can support a working guide dog partnership for one day.
£8 would buy a blue puppy coat
£20 would pay for one hour’s training at a Guide Dog training school
£15 would buy a lead for a Guide Dog
£25 would buy the white iconic leather harness of a working guide dog

What can you do now??

Become a volunteer for Guide Dogs, Name a Puppy for Guide Dogs and if anyone feels they could benefit from one of their services locally please contact the Southampton mobility team on 01189838892.
For just £1 a week, you can sponsor a puppy and receive regular updates about how your sponsored puppy is doing.

Here are all the links you need:

Name a Puppy:
Our Services:
Sponsor a Puppy:
It is possible to sponsor a guide dog puppy as an individual or a company and puppies are also sponsored in people’s memory.

For even more information about Guide Dogs have a look here

Finally, if you are interested in adopting a four-legged friend of your own then check out Breed Advisor for their excellent guide to every step of the process:


  • What a wonderful idea, for Binky Bear to be involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind. If every child who loves Binky Bear were to sponsor a puppy, it would help so much.
    I am going to do this for my grandson William Macdonald – Robinson, aged 7 years.

    • Liz Nankivell says:

      Yes I met Katie at an event back in September and when Katie talked about what Guide Dogs did, I knew Binky had to get involved. Your idea is a great one too and thanks for sharing this because you have given me an idea for another Facebook post to specifically tell people all about the Sponsor a Puppy scheme. Also see the comment on our current Facebook post about Yuri from his Puppy Walker. Guide Dogs are a really inspiring organisation and I am sure a lot of people would love to do the same as you and sponsor a puppy for their children and grandchildren. Thank you for commenting and best wishes. Liz