How are Seeing Eye Dogs Trained
- Publish Date: 2009/01/01 - (Rev. 2010/11/13)
- Author: Gray Rollins
Outline: Dogs that are being trained to be seeing eye dogs are taught the proper way to maneuver people safely through obstacles.
Main DigestSeeing eye dogs who are also referred as assistance dogs are trained to guide the blind and the visually impaired around obstacles that they would come across in daily life activities.
Although these highly training guide dogs are able to guide their masters around obstacles being color blind they are not able to tell the difference between different signs that they could come across. This issues is taken care off by the visually impaired person as they are given training for these issues in mobility classes.
In most countries Seeing Eye dogs are the only animals that are exempt from restrictions on animals in public places such as restaurants.
While there are several breeds that are suitable for Seeing Eye dog work breeds such as golden retrievers and German Shepard's are some of the more popular choices.
Potential Seeing Eye dogs can be found from many different sources. There are numerous organizations around the world that breed and raise puppies that will all go on to be trained to be Seeing Eye dogs. Many families serve as foster families for puppies until they are ready to begin their guide dog training. There are also many Seeing Eye dogs that are found in animal shelters.
The first part of Seeing Eye dog training is the dog being desensitized to sights and sounds that it would run across in public interactions. A physical exam of the potential Seeing Eye dog is then performed to make sure that the dog is up to the often strenuous activities that this type of work can entail. If the dog passes the exam they are then allowed to begin the next phase of the training process.
Dogs that are being trained to be seeing eye dogs are then put into harnesses and are then taught the proper way to maneuver people safely through obstacles such as going off of curbs and how to avoid their masters being struck by overhead objects. Some dogs are even taught additional skills during this time such as learning how to retrieve different items for their owner.
At the end of three months of individualized training a visually impaired student that has been approved for their own guide dog beings to work under the instruction of either a school or an individual instructor. Once this new team has passed the instructional process they are certified and ready to go out into the world. Follow ups are done by instructional facilities on an as needed basis.
Seeing eye dogs by law are allowed to accompany their owners in to all public areas allowing them to help their owner be a very functional member of society.
Reference: Gray Rollins is a featured writer for DogTeachers.com - a great site for dog training. Learn more about seeing eye dogs and learn which type of dogs are easiest to train.