International Day of Guide Dogs: three things you need to know

Every last Wednesday in April, a world day is dedicated to guiding dogs for the blind. Considered man’s best friend, the dog is a companion ultra effective for visually impaired or blind people.

To get a guide dog, you need one first. Just people over 12 years of age and suffering from visual impairment or blindness there we are right. For this, a request should be made to a dog school guide, preferably closest to the person concerned, and their medical file sent there.

A meeting was then organized between the person and teachers, psychologists and instructors. If the request is accepted, a meeting with a training dog st organized. The person with the guide dog must complete a two -week training course with a tutor.

How are dogs trained?

A guide dog begins his training about a year. For eight months, he would work two hours a day to learn how get to know your surroundings, walk straight, avoid obstacles and stop before pedestrians cross. A guide dog is also a must distinguish right and left and learning to do research work: a free space on a bench for the person he is guiding to sit on, a staircase to avoid …

At the beginning of their training, puppies learn through a leash, then wear a stiff harness that allows the person being guided to feel the dog’s movements. He also learned to recognize when he was workingthat is, when he wears his harness, and when he is able to run and play, when he takes it off.

The guide dog also has the right to retire. It must stop for a maximum of 12 yearsknowing that the average life expectancy of a dog is between 10 and 13 years.

The cost of training is estimated. € 25,000but dogs are provided free of charge to the visually impaired thanks to donations made to associations.

What varieties can be guides?

In France, eleven different dogs were trained : the Labrador, the Labrador x Golden, the Golden Retriever, the German Shepherd, the Royal Poodle, the Labradoodle, the Saint-Pierre, the Flat Coated, the Swiss Shepherd, the Border collie and the Barbet. It happens that other breeds are trained, but dogs need to have a large frame. You may not find a Chihuahua Guide for the blind.

Today, the dog is the only guide species for the blind, even in some countries like the United States, trained capuchin monkeys to help people with disabilities.

The Norwegian Association of the Visually Impaired designs an advertisement in which other animals act as guides, such as a sheep, ostrich, duck or llama. This ad, titled “It could have been worse, only dogs we want to bring” is intended to raise awareness. , so that people with a guide dog can take it anywhere with them. We can better understand why dogs are the only guide.

Some guide dogs have unique lives

For people with a guide dog, it’s not just a tool to get around safely. The dog and his master develop an emotional and trusting relationship. Some dogs have a unique life and role.

On September 11, 2001, in New York, young labrador retriever Roselle led his master, who was tied to the 78ᵉ floor of one of the two towers of the World Trade Center. But even if there is no saving of lives, dogs can allow people who are blind to return to normal life. American athlete Thomas Panek was the first to race his dog Gus. He realized the dog had let him more autonomy than human assistance. Kika is also a wonderful female dog. His London mistress, who is not blind from birth, can now film even a little bit of his actions. A camera is always attached to Kika’s harness, allowing him to share his journeys.

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