The Benefits of Guide Dogs Essay

1754 Words 8 Pages
     
           The Benefits of Guide Dogs and the Process of Obtaining Them

If you are 16 or older, legally blind, and have the ability to love and take care of a dog, you may be a candidate for a guiding eyes dog. Guide dogs help blind or visually impaired people get around the world. In most countries, they are allowed anywhere that the public is allowed, so they can help their handlers be any place they might want to go. To do this, a guide dog must know how to: keep on a direct route, ignoring distractions such as smells, other animals and people, maintain a steady pace to the left and just ahead of the handler, stop at all curbs until told to proceed,
…show more content…
The handler can’t see the obstacles along the way, so the guide dog must make its own decisions as to how to navigate the team’s path. Each half of the team relies on the other to accomplish the tasks at hand. As a guide dog gets more experience with its handler, it may be able to take on even more responsibility. For example, many veteran guide dogs know all of their master’s usual destinations. All the handler has to tell them is “go to the office,” or “find the door,” and the guide dog will follow the complete route (Fueoco, 2001)!
     Most guide dogs are Labrador and golden retrievers, German Shepherds, or a mix of these. Sometimes boxers are used as well. Dogs are specially bred for gentleness, good health and even temperament. Guide dog organizations usually breed their own dogs to ensure these traits. Basic obedience and socialization training begins around 8 weeks of age, often conducted by a volunteer puppy raiser. The dogs, whether they are male or female, are showered with affection to nurture their ability to bond. At a year and a half, the dogs begin their training to be guide dogs with a sighted instructor.
     All first – time “puppy – raising” applicants must fill out applications and be interviewed before a puppy is placed in the home. Children and pets in the household are a plus. At the time of the interview, the puppy raiser receives a large

Related Documents