Euston guide dog Betty battles phobia of skateboards

PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 April 2013

Trainer Laura Skinner is helping rookie guide dog Betty overcome her rare phobia of skateboards

Trainer Laura Skinner is helping rookie guide dog Betty overcome her rare phobia of skateboards


A rookie guide dog has presented her trainer with an unusual challenge - as she has a rare phobia of skateboards.

Betty, an 18-month-old German Shepherd Retriever cross, is currently in her third month of training in Euston to become a fully qualified London Guide Dog.

But a fear of skateboards is a major hurdle to overcome for a City-based guide dog like Betty.

Helping her conquer her phobia has required some creative thinking from Betty’s trainer Laura Skinner.

Ms Skinner said: “This is a first for us! I discovered she was scared of skateboards when I was training her around the Euston area and someone went by on one.

“Having borrowed a skateboard from a member of staff, I’m now using it as part of her training and she’s responding well.”

She added: “When the puppies come to us to begin their training it’s especially challenging for them here in London.

“There are so many different objects and noises to get used to, and this is one such challenge that we will get through to ensure she makes the perfect guide for a person who is blind or partially sighted living in the city.”

Betty is being trained not far from the headquarters of The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in Melton Street, Euston.

More than 41,000 Londoners are registered as blind or partially sighted and the charity has around 330 guide dogs with owners at any one time.

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