First dogs to be trained at Dogs for the Disabled's Atherton centre arrive

Leigh Journal: Gayle with Obi and Fossil, puppy co-ordinator Jessica Hardiman with Preston and dog supply team leader Vicky Lidbury with Chester Gayle with Obi and Fossil, puppy co-ordinator Jessica Hardiman with Preston and dog supply team leader Vicky Lidbury with Chester

THE first dogs to be trained at the Dogs for the Disabled centre in Atherton have arrived.

Fossil, the black cockerpoo and Obi, a yellow Labrador will spend 10 weeks being trained by Gayle Barrow, an instructor who is also new to the centre.

She will also be responsible for matching the dogs to a suitable person from their waiting list whom the dogs will help with everyday tasks.

Gayle said: “Obi and Fossil will be here with me for ten weeks so we are going to reinforce the things they learnt in their early years training and then we will look for matches for them on our waiting list.

“We will then train them with potential clients and then qualify them around September time.

“Up to now they have been taught to retrieve things so for people who don’t have much mobility or are wheelchair bound, if they drop something on the floor the dogs will retrieve it to their hands.

“They can open and close doors, turn on lights, load and unload washing machines, press buttons - we will look at what the client requires and I will train the dogs with them to meet those needs.”

Leigh Journal: Chester and Preston

Chester and Preston

The centre’s two newest recruits - eight-week-old black Labrador Chester and nine-week-old chocolate lab Preston - also arrived on the same day.

They are at the start of their journey to transform the lives of a person living with a disability.

“The puppies are going to their new homes where they will stay until they are 14 months old and be socialised and get used to places where dogs might go like shops,” Gayle said.

When they are old enough they will begin their early years training before potentially returning to Gayle who will match them up with a suitable client.

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