Contact at organisation: Ingrid Nijman or Danielle de Jonge, Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation (KNGF Geleidehonden)
The mission of KNGF Geleidehonden (the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation) is to make life easier for as many people with a disability as possible through providing professionally trained guide dogs. Over 100 passionate, professional staff and several hundred volunteers work together as one close team. KNGF Geleidehonden is the largest supplier of guide dogs in the Netherlands. In addition to training dogs, our institute also provides internal and external coaching: we encourage people, motivate them, help them to overcome difficulties and celebrate their successes. Every step forwards counts. This is reflected in the way we train our dogs, the way we help our clients to work with their guide dogs, and the support provided by the foster homes that raise and socialise our puppies. Internally, we strive to push back boundaries; both personal and organisational growth are important to us. After all, we have a mission.
KNGF Geleidehonden currently has a vacancy for a colleague with affinity for the entire breeding process. We are looking for a:
BREEDING PROGRAMME SPECIALIST (32 – 38 hours per week)
KNGF Geleidehonden has been running its own breeding programme for over 40 years to safeguard the intake of good prospective guide dogs. Labrador retrievers, Golden retrievers, and German Shepherd dogs are traditionally used as guide dogs. These breeds once formed the basis of our breeding colony, with which we breed dogs that satisfy the high quality standards set for various types of guide dogs that KNGF Geleidehonden supplies. Some 55 sires and dams are cared for by our foster families. This number is set to rise in the years to come to meet the development ambitions of KNGF Geleidehonden. In 2022, we aim to breed 170 puppies, all of which will eventually (after professional training) help people with a disability to lead a free and fulfilling life. We work closely and intensively with international partners in order to uphold and improve the genetic diversity and quality of guide dogs worldwide.
The duties of a breeding specialist are challenging and cover the entire breeding process, from start to finish. This includes selecting the parent animals and making combinations based on phenotypes and genotypes. Profound knowledge of canine behaviour and diseases is essential in the light of the dogs’ future role as guide dogs. You and other breeding specialists are responsible for the quality of the breeding programme, and the number of puppies being bred. This requires foresight and meticulous working methods, in which dog welfare and business interests both play an equal role. In addition, the job includes selecting brood foster families, who work for KNGF Geleidehonden on a voluntary basis, and supervising the mating process, birth and litter period with these families. These ‘hands-on duties’ are shared between the breeding specialists and other colleagues from the breeding team. Working with volunteers, and the unpredictable nature of breeding, makes constant demands on your social skills, flexibility, and ingenuity. Last but not least, you must maintain and expand the international network that is vital to the overall breeding programme. You report to the Training & Care Manager.
– ability to think and work at an academic level
– demonstrable knowledge of genetics (including population genetics) and the ability to put this
knowledge into practice
– demonstrable knowledge of veterinary diseases and the relevant hereditary factors
– demonstrable knowledge of canine behaviour (including guide dogs)
– experience of supervising canine mating and birthing processes is an advantage
– digital skills
– social skills, inventive and a team player
– meticulous, with an eye for detail, without losing sight of the bigger picture
– written and spoken language skills in both English and Dutch
– willingness to travel
– willingness to work irregular hours
– a driving licence is essential.
We are offering
A challenging, diverse job in an expanding organisation with a societal mission. We try to be an inclusive, diverse organisation. We are an informal organisation, where people are passionate about their work. The job involves a lot of responsibility and demands will be made on your knowledge of people and dogs. Care and compassion are of the essence, but you must never lose sight of the bigger picture. You will start work at the level of breeding programme specialist I (pay scale 6) and can progress to the level of breeding programme specialist II (pay scale 8) after an intensive training period. KNGF Geleidehonden pays an 8.3% end-of-year bonus and is happy to invest in the ongoing training and development of its employees. KNGF Geleidehonden has also implemented a policy on working from home.
How to Apply
More information about the job is available from Danielle de Jonge or Ingrid Nijman (both breeding programme specialists) by calling +31 (0)20 496 9333. If you think that you fit this profile, email your cv and supporting letter to P&O@geleidehond.nl by 1 April 2022 at the latest.