This post was most recently updated on June 29th, 2018
The Guide Dogs for the Blind in the UK was effectively started by Miss Muriel Crooke, a German shepherd enthusiast and Mrs Rosamund Bond, a breeder and exhibitor of German Shepherds on Wallasey, Cheshire, North-West England.
Initial support for the British guide dogs venture came from an American woman called Mrs Dorothy Harrison Eustis who had helped to popularise the guide dog movement in America and Vevey, Switzerland after spending several months at an existing Guide Dog centre in Potsdam, Germany, learning its methods.
Dorothy Eustis called the Guide Dogs, “L’Oeil qui Voit”, or The Seeing Eye, and “Seeing-Eye Dogs” is still a common term in the USA for Guide Dogs. To help Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond, Dorothy Eustis first met them in London in September 1930 and then sent them one of her trainers, William Debetaz.
In 1931 the first four British guide dogs completed their training and The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association was officially founded in 1934.