Earlier this year, Town Hall Symphony Hall welcomed guide dog puppies to Symphony Hall as they carried out an essential part of their puppy training.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association helps blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs and other services, including a volunteer sighted guiding programme. Today, Guide Dogs is the world's largest breeder and trainer of working dogs and thanks to their dedicated staff and volunteers – and vital donations – they've helped over 29,000 people achieve life-changing independence.
The first year of a guide dog puppies life is vital to their training and it's crucial they are introduced to as many new environments and experiences as possible in their younger years.
As part of this training, the guide dog puppies visited Symphony Hall where they were introduced to a whole host of new sights and smells. The Guide dogs will learn to ignore these many distractions and respond to cues from the owner who will give commands, provide encouragement and tell the dog which way to go.
Front of House Manager Lorna Brown shared her thoughts on the Guide Dog puppies visit:
"Many guide dog owners love attending live music events, we have several regular patrons at Town Hall Symphony Hall who attend with their guide dogs, so introducing puppies to our concert halls and the experience of live music is really beneficial. It also aids us as we are better able to cater to the needs of guide dogs and their owners, as all are individuals."
Eleanor Stephens, Engagement Officer for Guide Dogs Birmingham, said: “Our volunteer puppy walkers help our guide dog puppies get used to a variety of different environments, preparing them for life as a working guide dog”
“We rely on the generosity of service providers to allow our trainee pups access to places such as shops, cafes and leisure facilities as part of their training, and are grateful to Symphony Hall for supporting with this visit.”
Many guide dog owners love attending live music events, we have several regular patrons at Town Hall Symphony Hall who attend with their guide dogsLorna Brown, Front of House Manager