Failed Guide Dogs
It’s unfortunate that not all the puppies bred to be Guide Dogs pass the training. For whatever reason, be it medical or behavioural, there are some puppies who just don’t make the grade and need to be rehomed.
The Guide Dogs charity usually has failed guide dogs aged 12-18 months available for adoption and rehoming. Note, they don’t ever offer newborn or very young puppies because their breeding litters will all undergo basic guide dog training to see if they’re suitable to be guide dogs. While a lots of people search online for “failed guide dogs”, the correct term is a dog that has been “withdrawn” from training and is therefore in need of rehoming. Behaviourally, a dog will be withdrawn from training if it is too nervous around people, objects or other animals, too suspicious or too easily distracted. Medical reasons for withdrawl include skin, eye and joing conditions which preclude a life as a working guide dog.
Retired Guide Dogs
In addition to the “withdrawn” dogs, there are also guide dogs who have ended their active working life and are seeking a new home for their retirement. These retired dogs can make perfect pets, especially for older people who don’t want young active dogs. Generally, a retired guide dog will be between 9 and 11 years old. In addition, a guide dog spends a huge amount of its working life in the company of people and, in retirement, will want to do the same, so it makes sense to look for retired people who usually have time available to be able to look after the ex-guide dog properly.
Getting A Retired Or Failed Guide Dog
If you’d like to become the new owner of a failed or retired guide dog, get in contact with the Guide Dogs charity on 0845 3727499 and you’ll be placed on an applicant list before being called by a rehoming officer. Note, people who work full time are not considered for rehoming guide dogs.