Thursday, 25 April 2013

Reportage: Guide Dogs reach for the sky

Tails were wagging this week as Leeds Bradford Airport opened its doors to a litter of guide dog puppies.

Five guide dog puppies between the ages of three and eight months and their volunteer puppy walkers were given a tour of the airport on Wednesday to help get the dogs used to different environments.

 Puppy training exercise in action at Leeds Bradford Airport with Fizz (left) and Penny (right).
Guide dogs live with puppy walkers for the first year of their lives, and are trained to be obedient and perceptive so that they can stay focused anywhere that a guide dog owner needs to go.

The pups were trained to work their way through check-in desks and help guide owners through security checks.

Nicola Morgan, puppy training manager from the Leeds Guide Dog Mobility team said: “The thing which is often hardest to achieve is keeping the pups calm in all sorts of situations. The airport provides an excellent setting for this, as it is a microcosm of many of the things that a guide dog could expect to encounter in its life. There are lots of people (that the pups need to ignore), new noises, announcements, and obstacles such as trolleys and wheeled suitcases, as well as different floor surfaces, lifts and stairs.”

Sophie Brown, Chief Financial Officer at Leeds Bradford Airport greets the Guide Dogs puppies in training and volunteer puppy walkers.

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