Guide Dogs WA has twice as much to celebrate, after the organisation welcomed, its second and third puppy litters in November – referred to as the B & C Litters. Both mothers and their puppies are in good health.
On Thursday 3 November 2022, Guide Dogs WA’s brood Anika delivered her first, and Guide Dogs WA’s second litter of puppies. The triplet boys have been named Bill, Frank and Joe.
A third litter of eight puppies were born on Wednesday 16 November 2022. Born to first time brood Rio, this is Guide Dogs WA largest litter to date.
In October last year, the Western Australian State Government announced funding support to Guide Dogs WA for the establishment of world-class Breeding and Cadet Training Programs.
The Breeding Program was officially launched in July this year, when inaugural Guide Dogs WA brood Janet delivered the first litter of Guide and Assistance Dog puppies. The five puppies – Arnold, Ellen, Perron, Rico and Anna are now several months into their official training towards becoming a life-changing Guide and Assistance Dog.
The Breeding Program will assist Guide Dogs WA to meet the growing demand for Guide and Assistance Dogs in Western Australia, as well as provide an opportunity for new service offerings to become available for people living with low vision, disability or illness.
Anna Presser, Chief Executive Officer of Guide Dogs WA says there is an overwhelming sense of pride, anticipation and excitement around the birth of all of our litters.
“We are incredibly proud to be the only organisation in Western Australia that breeds, raises and trains Guide and Assistance Dogs for Western Australians in need,” Ms Presser said.
In the past, Guide Dogs WA sourced its puppies from accredited Guide and Assistance Dog schools within Australia and overseas, the puppies arriving from 8-10 weeks of age. This meant that often puppy supply would be limited and transport to Perth was unpredictable especially during the first two years of the COVID pandemic.
Importantly Guide Dogs WA was also not getting the opportunity to provide the puppies with vital socialisation which is critical during early puppy development and a significant factor in producing life-changing Guide and Assistance Dogs. As a result, Guide Dogs WA embarked on the ambitious goal of developing its own Breeding Program, right here in Western Australia – which it is now seeing the rewards of this hard work.
The puppies which are living with a Guide Dogs WA volunteer alongside their mothers receive exceptional care and support from an expert team which includes veterinary, breeding, training and whelping specialists.
At eight weeks of age, the new recruits will move in with their volunteer Puppy Raisers. Each Puppy Raiser will continue to raise and socialise one of the puppies for approximately a year before they enter formal training for their chosen career path. This may be as a Guide, Autism Assistance, Therapy, Companion or Facility Dog.
“We are confident that our puppies are being given the very best start to life, and this was evident with our first litter who as a result of our newborn early socialisation program easily transitioned into our training program at eight weeks of age and are thriving in the program,” said Ms Presser.
With the arrival of these new litters, Guide Dogs WA is calling on more volunteers to sign up as a Puppy Raiser.
Guide Dogs WA acknowledges the WA Government and the Western Australian community for their ongoing support and generosity. Donations to Guide Dogs WA will help raise and train Guide and Assistance Dogs for people in need.