Kingston and Belleville puppy breeders wanted, CNIB says

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Canada’s leading visually impaired support organization is looking for very important volunteers in Kingston and Belleville.

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Volunteers should love puppies but be strong enough to let them go after the first year to become an official Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) guide dog.

“There is no limit to the number (of puppy breeders) we want to recruit,” said Kezia Gray, puppy breeding supervisor for the nonprofit organization. “We have puppies coming in at the start of the New Year and we hope to place them in Kingston or Belleville at that time. “

CNIB said that because many Canadians buy guide dogs in the United States, since the border was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for its dogs has increased by 375%. This led the organization to acquire more puppies. Currently, 38 puppies are being bred across Canada.

“CNIB guide dogs train Labradors, Golden Retrievers and crossbreeds of both breeds primarily because of their temperament, personality and willingness to please,” said a press release from the organization. “These two breeds also have a double-layered coat, which means they can be placed anywhere in Canada and will shed depending on the climate.”

Lily and her volunteer puppy breeder visit a pharmacy. jpg, KI

Kingston and Belleville join Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax as puppy breeding towns. Both locations were chosen for their location and size.

Gray said the number of puppies they place in the area will depend on the number of requests they receive.

Dressed in their bright yellow INCA waistcoat, the puppies will have to move around town on a daily basis for daily chores. Gray said volunteering to raise puppies is a big time commitment.

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“Raising a puppy, especially a future guide dog puppy, takes a lot of time because its training program and socialization is quite extensive and much more intense than a regular dog,” Gray said. “Also, someone who lives in a house that is suitable for animals. “

She said that regardless of whether a volunteer has limited experience – there is a comprehensive manual – the level of engagement is greater. Those who live in an apartment can also apply, but this could make their very specific potty training more difficult.

Luna and her volunteer puppy breeder.
Luna and her volunteer puppy breeder. Photo by PAUL DARROW /jpg, KI

Gray explained that CNIB guide dogs are trained to relieve themselves before or after a walk, at the right time and always on a leash.

“The dog would never be left in the back yard to do its business,” Gray said. “For someone with vision loss, he would relieve his dog on a leash all the time, otherwise he would end up with mess in his backyard that he wouldn’t necessarily know he needs to clean or where he should clean up.” up.”

By the time the puppies leave their volunteers, CNIB said they should behave well at home and in social settings, should know several basic obedience routines, be comfortable in public transport and be confident, relaxed and ready for the next stage of their training. .

Gray admitted that it can be difficult for the volunteers to return the puppies once they grow up, but that’s always the main end goal on the volunteers’ minds.

“There is a bigger goal for these dogs, I’m not going to lie,” Gray said. “None of our volunteers find it easy to give in to the dog because they have put in a lot of effort – not just physically and temporally, but also emotionally.”

To try and make it easier, volunteers receive updates during formal training and learn where the dog is placed.

Those interested in becoming a puppy breeder are encouraged to apply at

[email protected]

Lily and her volunteer puppy breeder in a pharmacy.
Lily and her volunteer puppy breeder in a pharmacy. Photo by PAUL DARROW /jpg, KI