If you’ve ever thought about becoming a puppy socialiser, a new series on ITV could help you come to that all-important decision.
It’s called Puppy Secrets: The first six months and it features gorgeous golden retriever/labrador cross Neave who lives with puppy socialiser Annie Rourke.
Neave is destined to become a life-changing assistance dog with the charity Dogs for Good, which is keen to recruit puppy socialisers in the Milton Keynes area.
Dogs like Neave are trained to have an invaluable role either supporting an adult or child with a disability or a child with autism. It will cost the charity £12,000 to support and school her from birth to fully trained assistance dog and £20,000 to fund her whole working life.
The programme follows the litter of pups from a day old, charting their development until the day Neave moves to her new home with Annie.
The charity’s breeding programme is explained, together with the vital care, health checks and assessments undertaken to ensure the pups have the best possible chance to succeed as assistance dogs.
Annie, 53, says it’s awesome what the dogs can achieve once they’ve completed their formal training: “They really do change people’s lives.
“Children who have autism, who are non-verbal, start talking to the dog, then to an adult or child. They communicate through the dog and start communicating generally. It’s heartwarming to see. So although it’s difficult giving up the puppy you’ve loved since it was about seven weeks old, you know it’s going to go on to do amazing things.”