I am writing this page about Seeing Eye dog training because many people have some wrong ideas about Seeing Eye dogs. I will put to rest some myths about Seeing Eye dogs and answer some common questions.
Guide dogs have made the world a much better place for the blind. Seeing Eye Dogs are truly remarkable. The handicapped can now go almost anywhere at any time with their new companions. Blind people with a guide dog are more likely to accomplish more with their disability.
There are many guide dog training schools in the world. The one most people think of and know of is the Seeing Eye school.
Most people tend to believe that average people donate their dogs to the Seeing Eye or any other foundation for guide dogs. It is a very nice thought, but seeing eye dog training has to be practiced for the dog's entire life with special care and trainers. Most organizations, if not all, breed their own German Shepherds for this career.
Although you cannot donate your own dog, you can still help. The Seeing Eye gives their dogs to families to train them for the first two or three years of their life. Training Seeing Eye dogs is a long and steady process. The people who dedicate their lives to training Seeing Eye dogs are very involved in helping the blind to overcome the barriers of their handicap.
Another question that is often asked is if a person can adopt Seeing Eye dogs. If you live on the eastern coast of U.S., you can. However, the waiting time for adoption is very long and most of the adoptees are Seeing Eye dogs that did not fully pass their training requirements. So, actually, the answer is no. Most people cannot adopt Seeing Eye dogs. Even if you do live in the eastern US, it will take a very long time to adopt one.
Some people are confused about how long training takes. When the puppy is one and half months old, it is given to a family that volunteered to raise it. the family teaches it basic and simple obedience and social skills. The families will give the dogs their love and care for over a year.
When the dog is 18 months of age, it will return to the Seeing Eye Foundation to begin a four-month training program. When the dog meets the requirements, it is then given to a blind person. the recipient and the Seeing Eye dog bond and train together with the help of a trainer in the foundation.
some people do not understand how the dog knows when it is safe for the person to cross at an intersection. Seeing Eye dog training teaches the dog how to intelligently disobey. This means that it refuses to walk if it will put its master in danger. The blind person is also trained to listen for traffic sounds. When the owner thinks it is clear to go, he or she will say forward. If the dog thinks it’s not safe, he will not move.
How long does a Seeing Eye dog live and work? Many Seeing Eye dogs work to help the person for about seven to eight years Seeing Eye dog training schools take up three or four years of their life. most Seeing Eye dogs live with and take care of the person until they are eleven years old.
After the dog is retired, It may stay with the person as a pet for the or they are sometimes handed over to a family member or even brought back to the Seeing Eye Foundation. Many blind people go through three to five Seeing Eye dogs in their lifetime.
Last question ... are blind people with dogs allowed in public places? Yes, a law was passed that allows people with guide dogs to enter a restaurant, a bus, or a hotel. Many places are required by law to accept guide dogs in public places. Guide dogs are allowed in every state of the US and provinces of Canada.
I would like to thank the Seeing Eye Foundation for their service to the handicapped. Ever since the 1940’s, the Seeing Eye Foundation has helped to make the lives of the blind easier, safer, and more productive.
I would like to thank the founders of the Seeing Eye school. Even though the school charges for its services, a person has never been turned away due to lack of money. They are not funded by the government and rely on donations.
Without the Seeing Eye school, and other seeing eye dog training schools like it, blind people's lives would be much more restricted.