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IGDF Members E-Newsletter April 2024
Organization: Irish Guide Dogs for the blind
Location: National Headquarters and Training Centre, Model Farm Road, Cork
Job Type: Full time
Deadline: March 21, 2022

Job Description

Contact at organisation: Eileen Collins, Irish Guide Dogs for the blind

Phone: (021) 4878 282


Purpose of Role:
This role will involve training Guide Dogs or Assistance Dogs and will work closely with the relevant Training team to support a ‘one team’ approach. The role will support the Guide Dog or Assistance Dog instructors as they progress dogs to class standard.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Trains dogs in a variety of working environments using positive reinforcement methods.
  • Conducts preliminary assessment of dogs. Oversee standard testing for dogs entering training and progressing through training.
  • Communicates with Volunteers around the progress of dogs through training.
  • Streams dogs to most the suitable training programme based on quantitative criteria and scoring.
  • Applies continuous improvement mindset to identify ways of refining the process around training our dogs.
  • Identifies temperamental and behavioural issues and works to resolve applying appropriate solutions.
  • Highlights health issues and promptly refers these issues for review to your line manager or Dog Care and Welfare Supervisor, proactively manage resolution.
  • Applies technical training guidelines to determine most suitable training programmes for allocated dogs.
  • Assists in training of key stakeholders. For example: new staff, students, Puppy Raisers, Assistance and Guide Dog Mobility Instructors, Temporary homes, as required.
  • Highlights dogs that are ready for training progression and recommend dogs that should be withdrawn.
  • Maintains timely, accurate and up-to-date records on our database system.
  • Supports with local aftercare calls, hubs, and training to class standard, when needed.
  • Works closely with Dog Care and Welfare to maintain health and welfare standards.
  • Participates in CPD and training opportunities supporting the delivery of Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs.
  • Supports a ‘one team’ approach and builds effective relationships with all stakeholders to achieve class standard training outcomes and delivery of key outputs such as supporting fundraising initiatives.
  • Engages with other IGDB projects, as required.
  • In addition to these key accountabilities, you may also have ownership for one or more key processes which will be communicated to you via your manager and/or the Performance Management framework.

Values and Behaviours:
IGDB places great emphasis on how people get the job done. For example, we need people who are passionate about enabling people who are vision-impaired and families of children with autism to lead better lives and become more mobile and independent. Employees are expected to achieve these standards to fully meet the expectations of their role.

Values and behaviours Description:

  • Respect
  • Treats Clients, Colleagues and Volunteers with equal respect. Is open-minded and tolerant of different views.
  • Teamwork
  • Supports a team environment which promotes wellbeing and maximises personal effectiveness. Communicates clearly and effectively with others. Strives to be supportive, consistent and professional with Clients, Colleagues and Volunteers.
  • Optimism
  • Is solution-focused and looks to bring a positive attitude to challenges. Celebrates wins and encourages others to do the same. Does not fear failure – believes we can all learn lessons for the next time together.
  • Conscientiousness
  • Takes pride in what is done and how it is done. Always presents a professional and capable manner in all tasks that are completed.
  • Has a clarity of purpose, sets a good example for others.
  • Is accountable for what is done and takes ownership for achievement.
  • Integrity
  • Leads by example. Is fair and consistent when working with Clients, Colleagues and Volunteers. Takes ownership of achievements and responsibility for failure.
  • Excellence
  • Strives to continuously improve own performance.

Person Specification:

  • For qualified trainers only: Qualified trainer from an accredited body with a proven track record of delivering key outputs.
  • Proven track record for consistently meeting and exceeding goals and delivering a superior level of job performance.
  • Very strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build relationships with all stakeholders.
  • Strong team player, excellent communication skills and solution-focused.
  • Competent in Microsoft Office and great attention to detail.


  • Animal care qualification or equivalent qualification in a relevant discipline.
  • Qualified in teaching or mentoring in an associated field.
  • Practical experience working with dogs within either dog care or training environment.
  • Knowledge of dog training and methods, instructional techniques and canine behaviour.
  • Evidence of continued professional development to enhance knowledge and experience relevant to the role.
  • Experience of a least one aspect of the disability sector.

Special Conditions:

  • Full clean driving license essential.
  • Must be eligible to work in Ireland and the EU.
  • Apprentice Dog Trainer will be required to complete Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind Trainer Apprenticeship Programme.
  • Physically able to complete the work required and perform tasks that require manual handling techniques such as lifting, pulling, pushing, etc.
  • Physically able to work outdoors all year round in all weather conditions (as approx. 50% of role will be completed outdoors).
  • You may be required to work outside of normal working hours, travel and overnight stays throughout the country may be required from time to time.
  • Subject to full Garda (Police) vetting.

How to Apply

To apply, please send the below information to
• Up-to-date CV
• Cover letter