Guide dogs serve such an important purpose in the lives of others, and they are among the most loved and cherished dogs as a result. This is what makes guide dogs so unique and special, and this is why it is important to understand as much as possible about guide dogs, and the way they live. We’ve all seen guide dogs walking down the street with their owners, but have you ever considered what it actually takes to be a guide dog?
Keep in mind that this isn’t a role just any old pooch can fulfil! Oh no, being a guide dog is certainly for the select few. The more you can learn about guide dogs, the better you are likely to understand them and what they do. So, let’s take a closer look at these epic creatures, and what goes into their training; these are some of the things you never knew about guide dogs.
Training is very specialised
One of the things to note about guide dog training is that it is very specialised, and it can take a long time to achieve. Around 18 months training, from birth, is generally required in order to ensure that a puppy is ready for the screening process needed to start training as a guide dog. And it is believed that only around 20% are selected to continue learning as guide dogs, and they undergo specialist training.
They are allowed anywhere
Another thing you might never have known about guide dogs is the fact that they are allowed anywhere in public, even places regular dogs are not allowed. Anywhere that a person might be allowed, the guide dog is allowed to go with their owner. This means places like restaurants, medical facilities, and even aeroplanes! Because of the essential job guide dogs do, they are allowed access to places that other pooches might not have access to.
They are carefully paired with owners
Guide dogs are carefully paired with their owners, and this is done accounting for a lot of factors. Lifestyle, living arrangements, and family situation are all things that are taken into account as a result. It’s not just choosing an owner who is going to stock up on Barking Heads dog food; there is so much more to consider. The needs of the owner are accounted for as well as how they will look after the dog.
You shouldn’t pet them
Something you might not have considered about guide dogs is that you shouldn’t pet them. While they are in their harness, these dogs are working, and petting them can complicate matters. The last thing you want to do is to distract the dog while it is in the process of working and trying to help its owner as much as possible.
These are some of the big things that you probably never knew about Seeing Eye dogs. There are plenty of factors to keep in mind, and it is important that you understand how guide dogs are trained, and the effort that goes into maximising their impact. Make sure you are respectful of this the next time you encounter one of these animals.