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Medical alert assistance dogs in training: life before starting work

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Dogs with Jobs

Celebrate the frontline workers of the canine world. Kate Fairweather comes face to face with a diverse cast of working dogs, perfectly equipped with 
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Have you ever wondered what assistance dogs' lives are like before they start work? 

This month we visit the charity, Medical Detection Dogs and meet the many young dogs in training for medical alert assistance work, who are working towards being placed with a  human partner.

The working dogs all live with families and volunteer fosterers at night and for the weekend. In the morning, the various detection dogs are dropped off at work, and the trainee medical alert assistance dogs arrive for training. 

Gemma Butlin of Medical Detection Dogs explains to Dogs with Jobs presenter Kate Fairweather how the charity keeps its many dogs relaxed and happy during their training, and what a typical day looks like for the charity's trainee medical alert assistance dogs.  

We hear from "puppy picker" Chris, who explains the qualities he looks for in very small puppies, and how they will be gently introduced to a range of stimuli - from hairdryers to tractors.  

A varied and exciting puppyhood is a key factor in developing the steadfastiness that will be required of the dogs once they start work with their human partners.

Connected episodes:

Browse more dogs with interesting jobs.

Do you work your dog or dogs? If you would be interested in coming on the show, please get in touch with Kate at or call 10730 555 500. 

© & ℗ Kate Fairweather 2023

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Petersfield's Shine Radio

The voices and stories of Petersfield people. Our volunteer community radio team covers local arts,  
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