Supporting Guide Dogs – one puppy at a time!

Supporting Guide Dogs – one puppy at a time!

Barry Noakes has worked for Altrad for almost 30 years – progressing through the business into his current role as an Offshore Operations Manager. Barry is a big part of our team in Norwich, but it’s his passion for training and developing guide dogs which is his true legacy.

From around eight weeks old, the early socialising and education of a guide dog puppy begins. Barry and his wife ensure the puppies have as many life experiences as possible. They aim to create dogs that are comfortable in any situation; from dining out to travelling by all forms of public transport, to shopping and navigating crowded streets.

At home the puppies become an integral part of the Noakes family, allowing them plenty of downtime with lots of free runs in the woods or the park.

At around 12 months of age they take their next step in the journey to becoming a guide dog and head off to a specialised training centre to develop their skills. When the dogs reach two years old, they are matched with their forever person and work as a guide dog until they are retired at around 10 years of age.

Barry commented “We are often asked ‘how do you give these dogs back?’ The honest answer is, that we enjoy the start of their amazing journey to becoming a guide dog, and we benefit from the company of an amazing dog we can take anywhere with us. We have had two dogs so far, Nigel who is now working in Amsterdam with a young man and Ralph who has just left us to start his full training.”

Barry – we are really proud of the work you and your wife are doing.