A litter of adorable yellow Labrador puppies faced some of their most “ruff” training to date – as a former special forces officer lead them through a strict boot camp obstacle course.
Ollie Ollerton, the former face of reality TV show, “SAS: Who Dares Wins”, lined up the seven young dogs, calling for “discipline” as they faced the task at hand.
The young recruits, who were just six weeks old, were led around a series of cones, over a miniature “high-jump”, and through a cross-shaped series of tunnels – with varying degrees of success.
But there was dissent in the ranks, as the would-be guide dog pups eventually overpowered their officer – and clambered all over him, licking his face.
The former UK special forces solider said: “I’m here to see if they’ve got what it takes. It’s not for the faint-hearted, and this boot camp will prove if any of the recruits are barking up the wrong tree.”
The fun trial run was held at the Guide Dogs National Centre in Leamington Spa, near Warwick, and was set up to raise awareness of Guide Dogs' Sponsor a Puppy campaign.
It included Fern, a new sponsor puppy who is just starting her journey to becoming a guide dog, alongside her sisters Anne and Charley, and four brothers Yoro, Utah, Ben, and Frankie.
Ollie rallied the troops and kept discipline among the six-week-old yellow Labrador puppies, which capped off a fine performance with a sprint finish, all under the watchful eye of their mum, Sylvia.
He said: “I’m very passionate about the work they [Guide Dogs] do, and it’s my job and my mission to get much-needed donations to the charity.
“One of the ways you can help is by sponsoring a guide dog puppy. I’ve been sponsoring a puppy for probably the last three years, and it’s one of the most amazing things you can do.”
Tim Stafford, director of canine affairs for Guide Dogs, said: “We’re proud of our new recruits, and we know their mum Sylvia and dad Hartmann will be too.
“It's absolutely fantastic that Ollie came out to meet some of our puppies and put them through their paces.
“I'm not sure the pups will be putting their SAS training to use as guide dogs, but they had a fantastic time nevertheless.
“The Sponsor a Puppy campaign funds other new recruits, letting them rise through the ranks to give them a shot of becoming a true leader themselves.”
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