Welcome to our blog Courtesy of our Dog Care and Welfare Team at the National Headquarters and Training Centre in Cork. Our blog is all about our dogs and our posts will keep you in touch with our 'brood' – from puppy stage to when they qualify as guide or assistance dogs. Our blog champion is Niamh Daly and from time to time, you’ll hear from some of our other Kennels Team members too.
More about our Kennels Team
The Dog Care and Welfare Team operate from our Kennels at our National Headquarters and Training Centre in Cork. On average, they care for about 50 – 70 dogs at any given time, so things can get very busy! There's never a dull moment as team members all get to know each dog's individual traits and personality.
Seen above are (back row, left to right): Julie Simpson (Kennels Supervisor), Niamh Daly, Tara Looney, Donna Buckley, Maeve McCluskey, Olive O’Sullivan. Front row, left to right: Anne Hennessy, Catherine Handley, Ian Freyne and Linda Madden. Not featured is team member, Anne-Marie Cotter. The dogs featured are (from left to right): Lenny, Olive, Uz and Percy.
More about our Kennel Facilities
The Kennel’s site comprises a main training block in an ‘H’ layout which has three areas for our dogs in Early Training (which we refer to as our Early Training Block) and an area for our “boarders”. The Early Training Blocks contain the dogs that are in the first 4 months of training which means that they are around 12 – 15 months of age. The Boarders Block is where we keep dogs that are in for a short stay over, for example, a puppy whose puppy walker has gone on holiday. The Boarders Block also holds any breeding stock that need boarding or may be in season.
The most recent additions to our facility include a state-of-art Puppy and Breeding Block and what we call the Pod Kennel. The Puppy Block is a separate building with its own specific staff assigned to the Block for puppy care.
At six weeks old, our pups come in from our volunteer breeding stock holders for a two week stay before moving on to the volunteer puppy walkers. This area is a quarantined area to help prevent infection and maintain the highest hygiene standards for our pups. We do however have a visitors viewing area so people can see the pups in action in their play area without compromising their health.
The Pod Kennel (so named because of the building’s shape) is where most of the Advanced Guide and Assistance Dogs in training are kept. The Pod is a circular shape which benefits the dogs because they can see everything that goes on within the block and this helps to reduce stress and also keeps the dogs entertained watching the staff go about their day.
There are large glass doors which give access to their spending runs and also allow the dogs their very own viewing gallery of the sand runs and the kennel building opposite.
The above sets the scene for our blog updates from our Kennels Team. We hope you enjoy our posts and look forward to hearing from you!
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