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About Guide Dogs

The Guide Dogs story started in 1931 with two amazing British pioneers, Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond. These remarkable women organised the training of the first four British guide dogs from a humble lock up garage in Wallasey, Merseyside.

Guide Dogs may have a long and fascinating history, but their story is always evolving. Over the coming years they are looking to increase the number of guide dog partnerships, and also developing a broader range of services that will help more people who are blind and partially sighted to get out and about on their own terms. As part of Guide Dogs strategy for the next 10 years, for example, they are increasing the scope of their service to include a Buddy Dogs scheme for young people, and My Guide, a sighted guiding service, helping people with sight loss get out of their homes and engage with their community.

There are around 4,500 guide dog owners in the UK. Listen to Guide Dogs owners stories here.

For the blind or partially sighted, a guide dog could change their life.

There's no upper age limit. People in their seventies, eighties and nineties have become successful guide dog owners. Guide Dogs also removed the lower age limit for guide dog ownership and are now working with children and young people under the age of 16. People don't need to have lost all their sight, most people who own a guide dog still have some vision.

Guide Dogs also recognise that the costs of owning a guide dog may not be easy for everyone to manage. They provide all the essential equipment free of charge and also provide financial assistance if needed for things like food or veterinary costs. No previous experience of keeping or caring for a dog is necessary. If someone is committed and able enough to support and care for a guide dog, Guide Dogs teach them all they need to know.