These dogs can do more than just ‘sit’ and ‘fetch’!
Four-legged friends showed off their skills at the Festival of Working and Assistance Dogs at Norbreck Castle at the weekend.
Guide dogs demonstrated leading their owners through obstacle courses, while sheep dogs showed off the skills needed to round up livestock in the fields.
The event, which was attended by people from St John’s Abulance, Blackpool Transport, Medical Detection Dogs,Fylde K9 Dancers and Harveys Army, raised cash for the Guide Dogs charity.
Brenda Wildish, of Fylde coast Guide Dogs, said: “This is the second year we have held the festival and it’s the only event of its kind in the world.
“It helps the public to understand the amount of training assistance dogs are given and how different they are from pet dogs. It shows the skills they have in helping people live normal, independent lives, because the dog bridges the gap between what they can and can’t do. It takes 20 months of training to train a guide dog - 12 months as a puppy with a volunteer walker, followed by six months of advanced training. A guide dog goes the extra mile because their job is about safety outside the home and there are multiple challenges, the main one being busy roads.
“The importance of a festival like this is that it gives the public the opportunity to see the dogs being trained.”