An Update on Banjo the Toyota Guide Dog

Banjo the Toyota GB Guide Dog puppy

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Banjo the Toyota GB Guide Dog

You may remember Banjo, the Toyota GB Guide Dog. Back in 2017, Toyota GB partnered with Guide Dogs, the charity which enables people with sight loss to live with freedom and confidence.

Fast forward to 2018, and Banjo was an adorable six-week Labrador retriever cross puppy, about to be put through his paces with an intensive week's training, exposing him to all kinds or new experiences, sights, sounds and smells, not to mention other dogs.

Banjo's Selfie

Banjo and his pal

What happened next?

After Banjo's initial sensory overload, he spent six months with a typical household, to grow and experience life as a normal dog.


Walkies

And after that?

After Banjo's six-month period of civilian life, he returned to the Guide Dogs National Training Centre, to be exposed to lots of new auditory, visual and tactile stimulus. He was handled by different people and stroked with different textures, as well as sounds like traffic, jangling keys, and household appliances.


Good boy

So how did Banjo get on?

Here's where the story takes an unexpected turn. Not all dogs are suited to life as a Guide Dog, and Banjo didn't quite make the cut. He was attentive, calm when required and sociable, but he had a tendency to act on his impulses. As a fairly large, powerful - not to mention curious - dog, this forthright character was at odds with his role as a Guide Dog.


Banjo chilling

Where does that leave Banjo?

The good news is that Banjo is still a well trained dog, and has found a loving forever home with Mary and Geoff Pottinger, in Kent. No stranger to Guide Dogs, the Pottingers actualy looked after Banjo during his early days, so he's certainly found a happy home.

If you’d like to get involved with Guide Dogs or simply learn more about their work, including keeping up-to-date with their new initiatives such as the buddy and companion dog schemes, visit guidedogs.org.uk or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Pictures courtesy of Geoff and Mary Pottinger.