What Are Guide Dogs Trained To Do?

What does guide dog training involve?

Guide Dog Trainers work with the dogs for around 19 weeks, helping them develop basic guiding skills, for example, dealing with kerbs and avoiding obstacles. Those volunteers bring the dog to training each morning and take it home again each evening. They also look after the dog at weekends and over bank holidays.

What can guide dogs do?

What a guide dog does

  • walk centrally along the pavement whilst avoiding obstacles on the route.
  • not turn corners unless told to do so.
  • stop at kerbs and steps.
  • find doors, crossings and places which are visited regularly.
  • judge height and width so you do not bump your head or shoulder.

Are guide dogs trained to attack?

Guide dog teams are vulnerable to attack, not only because of their owners’ visual limitations, but because the dogs are trained to be unresponsive to approaching dogs while they are guiding their handler. This often makes them a target.

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What does a guide dog instructor do?

Guide dog mobility instructors train dogs to guide people who are blind or vision-impaired. They also train these people to use and care for a guide dog.

What age do guide dogs start to work?

Your puppy will normally be placed with you between 6 – 8 weeks of age and will leave you for one of our training schools when it is ready and mature enough for formal training, usually between 12 – 16 months of age. Can I work and puppy raise (formerly called puppy walking) for Guide Dogs?

At what age do guide dogs retire?

Retired: These dogs usually retire from work around 9 to 11 years of age. It is common for the guide dog to remain with their owner or their family or close friends who have been associated with the dog throughout its life.

Are guide dogs happy?

Guide dogs work very hard every day, but they lead extremely happy lives, full of lots of attention and stimulation. Dogs only end up working as guide dogs if they absolutely love the work. In fact, many handlers report that their dogs leap enthusiastically into the harness every morning!

Can you touch a guide dog?

Guide dogs are working dogs that help their owners to find their way around. Petting the dog (however tempting), while it’s in its harness and helping its owner get around, distracts the dog from its work and could put its owner at risk of danger or delay to an essential journey.

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Why are guide dogs so special?

Guide dogs make it easier to get around, resulting in the person getting more exercise or walking more. People are more willing to go places and feel a sense of independence. Meeting people and socializing is easier, and people are more likely to offer a blind person help when there is a service animal present.

Will a guide dog protect its owner?

If it is small the dog may help safely guide the person around it. If it is large and they can’t get around easily, they will block the person so they know there is something in the way.

Will a service dog protect its owner?

Protection dogs must be professionally trained. They never show aggression, bark at people, or snap at anyone unprovoked. They properly respond to commands, are stable, and protect their owner from real threats.

What happens if a dog attacks a guide dog?

Owners whose dogs attack guide dogs, face up to three years in prison under a new law. The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill became law in March. Under the law, attacks on assistance dogs are now an aggravated offence and carry the possibility of a prison sentence for irresponsible dog owners.

How long does it take to train guide dogs?

Training with a guide dog is called ‘new partnership training. ‘ It takes a minimum of five weeks and is delivered in two stages.

How much does it cost to train a guide dog?

Initial cost for Guide Dog = $50,000. Ongoing cost = $1,200 a year. Estimated working span = 8 years. Total cost for a guide dog = $59,600.

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What are the requirements to get a guide dog?


  • Legally blind.
  • At least 18 years of age, but no limits on upper age.
  • Confident in your orientation and mobility skills.
  • Able to navigate three or more routes independently.
  • Ability to provide the appropriate exercise for a young and active dog.
  • Financially able to appropriately care for a guide dog.

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