Since the time immemorial, dogs are considered as the most faithful, sincere and useful animal to the humans. From protecting our house from taking part in the rescue operation, there are numerous services they offer to us. Nowadays they are showing their proficiency in guiding people who are visually challenged. After going through a scientifically developed dog training classes, they gain the capability to properly and safely guide a blind person through the complexities of pedestrian travel.
There are several things a guide dog is capable of performing such as:
- Walk centrally along the pavement
- Accurately bypassing any obstacles or bumps
- Staying away from taking corners unless instructed
- Giving halt at steps and curbs
- Determine the route to a new destination
- Locating frequently visited spots, shops, crossings and places
- Read traffic signals and properly dealing with the traffic and safely cross you the road
- Judge height and width so you do not bump your head or shoulder
Which breeds are ideal for becoming a guide dog?
The selection criteria of guide dog depend on two important aspects, first the temperament of the dog and second the size of the dog. Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Dalmatians and German Shepherds are the types of dogs who fit the bill completely. Along with their intelligence, their cool and calm temperament and the quickness to identify any potential danger made them ideal to become a guide dog. Apart from this, a guide dog has to be strong and big enough. Another valuable point that makes them ideal for the job is their ability to acclimatize nicely with any environment and ambiance. For people with allergic problems, standard Poodles are the best option.
How are guide dogs for blinds trained?
- After leaving their puppy raising homes, dogs are assigned to a guide dog instructor for receiving the training.
- The instructor will work with each dog for at least 5 months in which they learn directional commands like how to take a left turn, right turn, u-turn and going forward.
- In the next stage, they are taught how to give a halt to changes in elevation, stairs, curbs and broken sidewalks. They are also trained how to find outdoors, empty seats in a public place or in a transport, going in a straight path and stop for overhanging obstacles.
- In the final stage of the puppy training, they learn how to understand traffic signals and safely crossing the road. They also learn "intelligent disobedience" to keep his owner out of any impending danger.
How can you have a guide dog for you?
Once the dogs have completed their formal guide work training, they are ready to assign to the humans. There are multiple dog training houses such as Guiding Eyes, Guide Dogs from where you can book a guide dog for you.
Trained guide dogs can provide a visually impaired person safe and effective way of getting about independently.