Who is a Guide Dog?

It's not a secret that a guide dog is a friend and irreplaceable helper for the visionless. These dogs are like mediators who help these people find their way in every day life. Earlier the poor and teen agers used to do it. Then they started training dogs for this purpose. 

There is no special guide breed. Many dogs can fulfil this task: collie, Labradors, German shepherds, retrievers. They usually choose middle sized dogs for guiding purposes, they also must have excellent eye sight and hearing. The guiding dog must be even tempered, calm and obedient. Guide dogs are trained in special establishments. There are many schools for guide dogs nowadays, though there's often a lack of guide dogs. So the visionless must wait for a long time for a "spare" guide dog to arrive.

Guide Dogs Origin
The guide dogs were originally trained in Vienna in 1819. A certain Johann Klein was the founder of the blind training institute and even issued a book about guide dogs training and usage.  

After World War I in Germany, they developed a guide dog training system. Near the German school there was also the English school, one of its founders was a Russian immigrant, Nikolay Lyakhov, who started working as an animal trainer and was later appointed the school director, 

In the USA, New Jersey another guide dogs training school appeared in 1929.

In the USSR they started training guide dogs after the World War II to help the visually disabled veterans. The dogs could guide them not only to known places. Thank to the guide dogs the veterans could freely go anywhere and explore new places. So these people could do without help of their relatives.

Training a Guiding Dog
The guide dogs are picked out of their peers from the age of two months, The dog breeders choose calm and obedient pups. Aggressive and too active puppies cant be guide dogs. Sometimes the blind man's family raises the puppy and later brings it to the training school.
First of all the future guide dog must take a general training course. They are taught to keep calm in every situation, not to be distracted and not to get scared by any movements or sounds. The guide dog's attention must not be distracted by other people or animals either.

The guide dogs are also taught to lead people along the stairs. The dog must be aware of its owner's usual route, be able to help cross the road. The guide dog's owner is also trained to manage the dog and to understand it.

Learn all about guide dogs.

Find special guide dog harnesses in our on-line shop!  


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