Our founder Anne (who is blind herself) discovered there was a long waiting list for a new German Shepherd guide once her old one had retired. She felt that a waiting time for mobility of up to 3 years was a very long time and decided to do something to help ease the situation.
Initially, to make sure there was a demand for German Shepherd guides, Anne completed 4 different surveys of the blind community throughout the United Kingdom. These surveys came back as a resounding YES for more German Shepherds, as well as a resounding YES for indepth, controlled, residential centre training.
Since that time Anne has registered Pathfinder Dogs as a charity – in Scotland SCO35007 and in England & Wales 1137722 as well as a Limited Company by Guarantee. Our company name and charity name is Pathfinder Guide Dog Programme, however, we trade as Pathfinder Dogs. We are completely independent of any other organisation.
Anne and her group of loyal volunteers can be seen on street collections throughout Scotland as well as speaking to community groups and companies about blindness and dogs as a whole. Anne has a solid background in the dog world having worked with dogs for over 35 years, she herself says “you never know it all and there is always something new to learn in the dog world”.
Pathfinder Dogs qualified our first 2 working dogs in 2010. We plan to recruit at least 2 puppies each year to enable us to continue and grow until we complete the construction of our training village. We will be entering into our own breeding programme once we have our training village built and the facilities on our grounds to take care of these puppies and their parents.