By Karen Hanlon, Canine Development & Training Manager, CNIB Guide Dogs
The Canine Campus – a 158-acre rural property in Carleton Place – is the national training facility for CNIB Guide Dogs and home to our future guide dogs during their advanced training.
When they're not training with their Guide Dog Mobility Instructors, they settle into their luxury dog pods with the other dogs, also known as their “pod buddies”.
The renovations on the south side of the Canine Campus have been completed. There, you'll find space for 28 dogs, a grooming and bathing room, an examination room and an area for food prep.
When we were designing the Canine Campus, the dogs' comfort, and happiness was our top priority. Afterall, this is their home for four to six months.
The Canine Campus provides a comfortable space for the dogs to practice:
- obstacle work and obedience training in the arena or outdoors;
- rural guide dog work along the roadway;
- house and office obedience and social behaviour training; and
- free running in the paddocks and fields.
The dog pods in the south side can accommodate four to five dogs each. The pods are large, bright and modern rooms with glass walls and views of both the interior office area and the exterior dog paddock. Two pods can be reconfigured to allow room for 16 dogs in four pods instead of 10 in two.
The dog grooming room features a window that allows tour groups to observe the grooming and bathing process without entering the room. The examination room for regular physical check-ups and treatment.
The next phase is to transform the former horse arena into a world-class guide dog training area, complete with mock sidewalks, elevators and escalators, a cafe-style seating area, train platform, and various street furniture and staircases. The north block will also be renovated to accommodate 28 more dogs.
Since launching in 2017, CNIB Guide Dogs has had much to celebrate, having matched 20 guide dog partnerships, nine buddy dog partnerships and six ambassador dog partnerships in communities from coast to coast.