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Being A Puppy Walker Is The Best Job In The World And Here's The Proof

It's 24hr floof patrol.

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1. Everyone knows labrador puppies are the floofest floofs of all the floofs.

2. So what job could be better than looking after a labrador puppy full time?

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3. As a guide dog puppy walker, you take care of a labrador puppy from when they're seven-weeks-old until they're about one.

After that they head off to guide dog training school.
Flickr: jonathandeamer

After that they head off to guide dog training school.

4. There is a catch – you aren't paid to be a puppy walker, it's a voluntary role and you'll be working for a guide dog charity.

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But you are paid back 1,000-fold in puppy love, which currently has a great rate against the British pound.

5. Obviously the job involves lots of playing – you'll need to play with the pup for a couple of hours in the morning, and a couple of hours in the afternoon.

6. Oh, and lots of cuddling too. When you're done with playing, you can have a snuggle.

7. You'll need to go on lots of walks – just 10 minutes at a time at first, then longer as the puppy gets bigger.

The puppy must learn to walk nicely on their lead, and not pull.
Flickr: smerikal

The puppy must learn to walk nicely on their lead, and not pull.

8. As a puppy walker, it's your job to get the pup used to the big, wide world, and teach it not to be distracted by all the wonderful things it sees out there.

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When they're working as guide dogs, they can't do naughty dog things like running after other dogs, barking at cars, eating rubbish out of bins, or jumping up at strangers.

9. The world is a confusing place for puppies, and while they're small your role is to guide them.

10. The puppy must get used to all sorts of transport, including riding on buses.

11. This means you'll have to take a puppy with you most places you go – so you have to be prepared for that.

12. When you're out and about, everyone will want to pet the puppy. You have to teach the pup to sit and wait to be stroked or offered a treat.

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13. Then there's the issue of poo. One of the main duties of a puppy walker is to teach the puppy to poo on command, on a flat area of concrete or stone in the garden.

It's really important that a guide dog won't just poo in the street. And to make it easier for a blind or partially sighted person to clean up the poo, the puppy must learn it can't go on the grass either.
Flickr: chengyee

It's really important that a guide dog won't just poo in the street. And to make it easier for a blind or partially sighted person to clean up the poo, the puppy must learn it can't go on the grass either.

14. Sometimes there will be accidents – in the house, in the garden, or in the street. You have to be ready to deal with that and not be grossed out.

15. The puppy will usually be sponsored – either by a business, a school, or an individual. The sponsors sometimes choose the puppy's name, and if it's a school, you might take the puppy to visit every couple of weeks.

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It costs around £50,000 to fully train a guide dog – although donations start from as little as £1 – so sponsors are essential.

16. When the puppy's not playing, pooing, or exploring the world, it's sleeping. You'll need to be around for most of the day, even when the pup's asleep.

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Being a puppy walker is a big responsibility.

17. The very best thing about the job is knowing that the puppy you helped to raise could go on to transform someone's life.

Instagram: @guidedogslondon

Around 1 in 3 guide dog puppies will succesfully make it all the way through training and be given to a blind or partially sighted owner. The ones that don't make it could go on to become another kind of assistance dog, or they might be rehomed with sighted owners.

18. The worst bit is when you have to say goodbye. Eventually, the pup will be ready for big school, and they'll head off to kennels to complete their training.

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After spending nearly a year together, you've built up an incredibly close bond. It's painful to watch them go, although you know they're heading off to do great things.

19. And of course if you loved your time as a puppy walker, you can always sign up to do it all over again.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed talked to Trish Davis, a puppy walker for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. You can find out more about becoming a puppy walker on their website.