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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Training a Guide Dog -- How Does it Work?

Training a Guide Dog-- How Does it Work?

Guide dogs are an essential part of many people's lives, and the tasks they can perform are nothing short of amazing. These dogs aren't just born that way. Training a guide dog is a tedious and long process, and it requires a lot more work than training a family dog.



Basic Obedience
The volunteers will usually take the guide dogs everywhere they go to get them accustomed to being around consumers they don't know and other unique conditions. Some college universities have programs where students can take guide dogs in training to classes and around campus to get them experience in the real world.

Most guide dogs are Labradors, golden retrievers, German shepherds, or a mix of these pedigrees. Guide dog associations usually breed their own dogs to ensure these traits so the dogs they raise will be the ultimate companions.

At a year-and-a-half, after the dogs have been cleared as people friendly, the dogs begin their training to be guide dogs with a sighted instructor. The tasks guide dogs are taught fall into three primary skills:

When training a guide dog, the individual is taught the commands that the dog knows, as well as health care and pet grooming. The training process takes several weeks, and when it's finished, the guide dog and individual are a team.

Training a guide dog is a long process, but in the end, people with disabilities are able to work with an incredibly well-trained pup to help them live their lives in an easier way. It is a rewarding and exciting process, especially when a newly graduated dog is finally matched with his partner.

The dogs are trained to handle diverse situations, such as busy city streets, airports, subways, and other populated areas, the dogs require periodic retraining when situations change.

Training a guide dog is a tedious and long process, and it requires a lot more work than training a family dog.

The next time you see a guide dog-- look but don't touch. Respecting the training that the guide dog went through to be so well behaved will help you avoid a difficult situation.

The Keys to Training a Guide Dog
The human partner makes most of the decisions for the team. When crossing a street, for instance, the person listens for the right time to go. Dogs can not tell when a light turns green, so he or she relies on the person for the command.

Changes in elevation, such as an upcoming curb, stairway, edge of platforms, etc
. Locating objects, such as exits, elevators, seats, or specific destination
Obstacle avoidance, such as navigating around hazards and obstacles

When training a guide dog, the individual is taught the commands that the dog knows, as well as health care and grooming. Being legally disabled, eligible individuals must be in good physical and mental health, a minimum of high school age, able to provide adequate care for the dog, and also show a need for a guide dog. Unlike seeing someone walking their dog and asking to pet him, seeing a guide dog is like seeing someone doing their job.

Guide dog organizations usually breed their own dogs to ensure these traits so the dogs they raise will be the ultimate companions.

Called "intelligent disobedience," the dog will refuse a "forward" command when it is unsafe. The dog is carefully conditioned to disobey during certain situations because they do not necessarily understand the inherent danger they are avoiding.

Being legally disabled, eligible individuals must be in good physical and mental health, a minimum of high school age, able to provide adequate care for the dog, and also show a need for a guide dog. Most programs offer the dogs free of charge or for a nominal fee. Some institutions will pay for all expenses, including travel and room and board if it's necessary to help the individual afford the guide dog.

Let Them Work

When you see a guide dog, your first instinct should be to stay away. Unlike seeing someone walking their dog and asking to pet him, seeing a guide dog is like seeing someone doing their job.


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