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WA’s first ‘Kiwi’ Guide Dog Puppies

Wednesday 28 June was an im-paw-tant day for us at Guide Dogs WA – our first ever Guide Dog Puppies arrived from New Zealand.

Nine puppies were born on 8 April at the Blind Foundation Guide Dogs in Auckland and two of these – a brother and sister called Bobby and Cassie – will now call WA their fur-ever home.

“We’ve purchased these new puppies from New Zealand for a number of reasons. We work with a variety of clients of varying ages, heights, walking speeds, activity levels, personalities and preferences. The more diversity we have amongst our puppies in training, the better we can match each dog with their new handlers,” said Joshua Crawford, Puppy Raising Coordinator.

“There is a strong breeding program in New Zealand, and by creating relationships with multiple breeders across the country and internationally, we can afford to be more selective with the puppies we start this life-changing journey with.”

Guide Dogs WA also work with specialised breeding programs in a number of Australian states.

“When purchasing our puppies, we look for a clean bill of health and an even temperament. The puppy must be confident, willing and outgoing – this combination gives them the best chance of success as a working dog.”

“These two – Bobby and Cassie – are our first intake of puppies from New Zealand, so it’ll be very interesting to see how these guys go!”

Polaroid images of Bobby and Cassie laying on knitted blankets in their new homes

Bobby and Cassie settle in to their new homes with volunteer Puppy Raisers

Both of the new arrivals have been sponsored by generous members of the public. It costs $35,000 to sponsor a Guide Dog Puppy, and takes more than two years of training before a Guide Dog can be matched with their prospective User.

Read more about Bobby and Cassie’s upcoming stages of Guide Dog training.

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