Guide Dogs

What are guide dogs?

They are trained dogs that help mostly blind people go about their normal lives. They lead blind people around obstacles and help them go places. Navigating around places that would be easy for us would be much harder for someone who cannot see. Guide dogs help blind people travel around. This way it is much easier for them and they can go back to normal activities.

Here are some FAQs about guide dogs.

What breeds are used?

- Golden Retriever
- Labrador
- German Shepard
- Labradoodles
These breeds are just good workers and good companions.

Where can they go?

Guide dogs are legally allowed anywhere.

How do people get them?

In order to be eligible for a guide dog, a person must be:
-legally blind
-in good physical and mental health
-at least high school age
-able to provide adequate housing and care for the dog
-in need of the dog
-able to travel on their own

If a person is eligible for a guide dog, then they have to fill out on application packet. This application contains four sections: Demographics, Physical History, Travel Skills, and Guide Dog Information. After a person fills out this application, then an appointment is scheduled with the company. This appointment is an interview with someone from the Training Department. This interview helps determine the person’s needs and capabilities. After this, the person has to wait until the company can find a dog that they feel will be good for that individual. The dog is chosen based on location, and everyday conditions. Once the dog is chosen, the person can start training the dog. There is no cost in the training classes that the person must take in order to train the dog. I did not find any information of the cost of going through all the paperwork of receiving the guide dog.

What's the difference between a service dog and a guide dog?

A service dog is not usually for blind people. A service dog can be for someone with muscular dystrophy. A service dog doesn't do as much leading as a guide dog does. A service dog will do things their owner might not be able to do. For example, a service dog could be able to turn a light switch on and off or pick something up.

Example of Guide Dog
Example of Guide Dog

We have talked briefly about guide dogs and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). A couple weeks ago, I heard about a man that got a dog to help deal with his PTSD. The man is a retired Army Sergeant who was in duty in Kuwait, Iraq. So this is just an interesting example of the use and comfort of a dog not only for individuals that are blind.
Here is the link to
this article on CBS: