Gallus Guide Dogs
At Glasgow Gin, we regularly receive requests for sponsorship and products to be raffled off for charity.
While we know every cause is worthy, it’s simply not possible to help everyone. So instead, we’ve chosen to support a single charity that’s close to our hearts – Guide Dogs Scotland.
We know you’ll understand that by focusing our efforts on just one cause, our donations will have a more significant impact.
That’s why we’re supporting the charity’s puppy scheme, helping them to train a dog and transform the life of someone living with sight loss.
Our puppy, named Duke (what else!), was born on 1st December 2020 along with his siblings Gorby, Jamie, Ludo, Theo, Bill, Sylvia, Lucy, Hazel and Marnie.
In the meantime, if you’d like to donate to Guide Dogs Scotland or even volunteer, please click below.
Dukes Pupdate No. 6
An update on our gorgeous boy with his early training report card. "The sweetest boy" - music to our ears. Go Duke!
Dukes Pupdate No. 5
We’ve recently been in touch with Guide Dog Trainer, Vikki, to find out how Duke has been getting on with his training since he moved to ‘big school’ a couple of months ago.
Vikki told us that Duke has settled nicely into his new routines and environment, and they spent some time building a bond before getting on with training. Duke seems to love Vikki and will often bark with excitement when he sees her coming to collect him for a lesson.
Duke’s introduction to the guiding harness went really well, but he seemed a little reluctant to walk in it at first. Vikki started to use games and toys to help Duke feel more motivated, which has worked brilliantly, and he walks fairly consistently now. He can very occasionally decide to stop for no apparent reason, which is likely just him testing Vikki’s boundaries a little. Some gentle encouragement or a playful ‘walk on!’ gets him going again.
As Duke has progressed with his training, Vikki has slowly been introducing some of the guiding tasks and he can now stop at a kerb to indicate to the handler that they are at a road. He will also indicate the first and last steps on a flight of stairs by stopping. Vikki has recently introduced right shoulder work, which means that Duke will learn to allow extra space from obstacles on the right and guide his future owner safely past them. He’s also learning straight line work which means he’ll walk centrally along the pavement whilst avoiding obstacles. In the coming weeks, Vikki will continue to refine Duke’s guiding skills and introduce additional ones when he’s ready.
It’s good to know that Duke has made a great start with his early training and Vikki described him as a ‘lovely boy with lots of potential’. We look forward to getting in touch with you again soon with a report card from Vikki detailing Duke’s progress at this exciting stage.
Dukes Pupdate No. 4
As Duke continues to progress through the puppy raising stage, we’ve been in touch with his Puppy Raiser, Margaret, one last time to find out how they’ve been getting on and what they’re doing to help prepare him for the next stage. Margaret said that Duke is still the ‘gorgeous boy he’s always been’ and has been making lovely progress in all areas of his training.
Duke’s lead work is of a good standard, and he is able to maintain the basic guiding position, which is in front and to the left of Margaret, with light to moderate tension on the lead. This is a great skill for the pups to learn as it teaches them to be a secure and steady guide. Margaret did say that since his ‘teenage hormones have kicked in’, Duke has ‘forgotten’ some of his nice loose-lead work and is slightly more prone to being distracted by smells or other dogs. This is something that is being worked on but is quite normal for pups of this age.
Fortunately, Duke’s recall off the lead has not been affected by his hormones, and he continues to demonstrate excellent and prompt recall whenever they are out. The only exception to this is if he has found an extremely irresistible muddy puddle to wallow in!
Busy towns don’t faze Duke at all and he’s confident and relaxed. Duke can sometimes become distracted by smells or pigeons in these situations, which is an area of training that is being worked on with him. Duke enjoys going to coffee shops the most and tries to take Margaret into every café they pass! Lifts and stairs are no problem for Duke – he’s happy to use either whenever it’s needed. He really likes the glass lifts he can see out of as he is quite nosey!
Margaret said that Duke is a very loving boy who likes to keep close to her; he thinks he’s still the small enough to sit on her lap when she sits on the floor – he isn’t! We hope you’ve enjoyed following Duke’s fantastic progress through the puppy raising stage. We’ll be in touch again soon to celebrate his birthday with you, and we’ll also let you know when he’s moved to ‘big school’.
Dukes Pupdate No. 3
Duke has grown so much since we've last seen him and is currently going through a slightly rebellious teenage stage!
He loves to be in new places and exploring but is sometimes too distracted and doesn't want to walk the same route as his puppy raiser, who says it's just a phase he's going through.
Duke is probably as tall as he will get, but he will fill out some more in the next few months- although he's already a very very strong boy!
He loves getting attention from anyone who will tickle his belly, and is absolutely super around other dogs, especially smaller ones. Duke is such a beautiful, friendly dog that it was hard to let him go back to his puppy training, but it was amazing to hear that he is getting on so well and will make such a massive difference to someone's life soon.
We'll get some more pupdates soon...and hopefully some more cuddles!
Dukes Pupdate No. 2
Since we last wrote to you, Duke has improved further in his training and learnt lots of new things – we’ve spoken to his Puppy Raiser, Margaret, to find out how they’re getting on.
Duke now wears the Guide Dogs puppy jacket while out on training walks. This jacket is useful for showing people that the puppy wearing it is in training and shouldn’t be distracted. It also helps pups get used to the feeling of something on their back in preparation for wearing a harness in the later stages of training.
Recently, Duke has been honing a new skill – his recall, on the free runs he’s been able to enjoy since receiving the last of his vaccinations. Margaret said that Duke’s recall is very good, and he enjoys getting a tasty treat as a reward for coming back promptly each time.
At this point in training the pups will try their paws at visiting busy town centres and exploring the big wide world around them, as well as practising walking up and down flights of stairs and going in and out of different style lifts. This is great exposure for the pups as it gets them used to different environments and experiences. Weekly training routines also start to include travelling on different modes of transport. They usually start with car and bus journeys, and then move on to travelling by train. Duke has been in cars, on buses, trains and even on a tram and has taken everything in his stride.
Margaret told us that Duke makes her and her husband smile every day. Duke is ‘quite a vocal boy’ and every morning he greets her husband with a very impressive range of whines and whimpers almost as though he’s having a conversation. Duke also loves stealing and hiding slippers and likes to take one and run around the garden with it throwing it up in the air!
We think that Duke sounds like an absolute delight; a spirited pup who’s doing well with all his training, and clearly thriving in his loving home. We look forward to sending you Duke’s next report card soon.
Dukes Pupdate No. 1
Duke has been living with his Puppy Raiser, Margaret, for a little while now, so we caught up with Margaret to find out how things are going.
Many Puppy Raisers have a few sleepless nights when their pup first arrives, as puppies can sometimes be a little unsettled in a new environment. However, Margaret told us that Duke is ‘an absolute star’ and has slept right through the night since he arrived. He sleeps in a cosy puppy crate and snuggles up to a large cuddly elephant every night.
One of the first things pups need to master when they move to their new home is toilet training. They are encouraged to respond to the ‘busy’ toileting prompt, which is taught to all guide dog pups and is designed to encourage ‘spending’ in appropriate areas. It can take a while for some pups to get the hang of this, but we are pleased to report that Duke is making excellent progress and hasn’t had any accidents indoors for a couple of weeks now. Well done, Duke!
Margaret has begun introducing Duke to some basic obedience commands, such as ‘sit’, ‘down’ and ‘stay’, and Duke is picking things up really quickly, especially when there is a food treat as a reward – he does what’s asked of him with his tongue hanging out, almost dribbling! Another important aspect of a guide dog pup’s early training is to familiarise them with different modes of transport. Duke has started with car travel, which he wasn’t sure about at first, but he quite likes it now and is always excited to discover where their journey has taken them.
‘Duke is so gorgeous, people even stop their cars to say hello to him’, Margaret told us. She also said that he’s a funny pup, who sits and waits patiently for his blow dry when Margaret is drying her hair, and he also loves to watch television!
We think that Duke sounds like a wonderful, bright little puppy who has got off to a great start with the early stages of his training. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading his first pupdate, and we look forward to getting in touch again soon with a report card from his Puppy Development Advisor.