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Guide Dogs For The Visually Impaired

Updated on August 27, 2012

Man's Best Friend

Guide dogs which are also well known as seeing eye dog's are the helping hand that are specially trained to act as a mobility to aid the blind and visually impaired individuals around obstacles. They provide mobility without stress in the form of a loving companion. Individuals that are visually impaired or blind get the mobility and independence gained through the use of a guide dog.

The first guide training schools came about in Germany during World War 1, to enhance the mobility of returning Veterans who were blinded in combat. In 1929 United States followed. In the 1920's and 1930's Important studies on the behavior and training methods of a guide dog were done by Jakob Von Uexkull And Emerald George Sarris. They studied guide dogs and introduced advanced methods of dog training.

In order for a dog to become a guide dog the dog must be intelligent, alert and willing to serve. Guide dog's begin training at 18 months old. Once the dogs are in training they go through an extensive evaluation process. They are checked medically and have a thorough orthopedic and eye examination. The dogs also go through a stress test as well as several others that will evaluate if the dog can continue training. The one's that pass continue training and the ones that fail get adopted out to become a family dog.

Training for a Guide dog is for four to six months with a licensed trainer. They are trained in all types of different environments like malls,subways and trains,beaches, rural and city sidewalks,heavy traffic areas. There taught how to stop the visually impaired person from crossing a street that has cars coming, they also help them get around objects. Guide dogs also have been known to get the disabled person to safety from certain situations like a burning building, they have also been known to bring a phone or other objects to there owner. The guide dogs are also taught how to trigger a medical alert pendent for there owner.

 When a guide dog has completed training and  is ready the dog will be matched with an individual that's blind. They will access the individuals needs such as allergies, the breed of dog,etc. to make sure that the guide dog and the individual can be compatible to work together as a pair. The bond between a guide dog and his impaired owner move about freely as if they were one. Guide dogs are allowed to go where ever there owner goes including public places. Guide dogs truly show the meaning of man's best friend.


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