Training a “Seeing-Eye” Dog for the Blind
By Zahid Sindhu
Dogs that provide mobility and independence for a blind person come in a variety of shapes and sizes. These dogs provide more than simply eyes for those who are blind. They become their companion, protector, and guide.
The majority of guide dogs are German Shepherds, but there are also many Golden and Labrador Retrievers. Training for their career starts when they are just a few months. During this time, they are placed with a foster family one or two years. These families give love and support, and teach fundamental manners and social skills. Once the dog reaches maturity, he returns to the sponsoring organization to begin formal training and evaluation. Training is intensive and encompasses all circumstances that the dog might come across in the day-to-day work of guiding his blind or visually impaired partner.