A guide dog for you?

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Magazin "Brava" Oktober 2018

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School (German)
Autism service dogs (German)


Guide Dogs in training

Playful and consistent training - Encouraging self-confidence

The guide dog learns to react correctly to about 30 spoken commands. This enables the visually impaired person, using the spoken command, to set the dog off in the desired direction and then to be guided to a specific location. During training, the guide dog learns to recognize obstacles as such and to react in appropriate manner. The commands are based on Italian words. The dogs are quickly able to tell the difference between these very distinct sounds.

 

The guide dog learns to guide in a straight line, to distinguish between left and right and to indicate or avoid obstacles of all kinds on the ground, to the side and at head height for its human companion. The basic training also comprises locating pedestrian crossings, staircases, doors, ticket offices, vacant seats and public transport.

The Test

At the end of the six to nine month training period, a guide dog expert from the invalid insurance scheme examines all our dogs. During this test, the trainer, wearing blackened glasses and guided by the dog, walks for about one hour along a route chosen by the expert.

 

The expert observes the way the dog works: does it stop correctly when leaving or mounting a curb; indicate pedestrian crossings the right way; cross the road in a straight line; navigate around all obstacles at the proper distance; notice every obstacle level with the trainer’s head and obey the spoken commands correctly, or does it allow itself to be distracted by outsiders? After a successful test, the dog is then ready to be introduced to the local environment of a visually impaired person.

What happens to a dog that is not suitable for training?

Dogs which prove unsuitable for training are passed on, free of charge, to families as pets Family Dogs. All such dogs remain the property of our school - and each family must bind itself contractually to keep the dog according to our guidelines.

 

If you are interested in a family pet from our school, please contact the school’s secretariat for further information: Tel. +41 61 487 95 95

Please be aware that there's a long waiting list.

 

Dogs which are suitable for training as social dogs are entrusted to families which are prepared to undertake this training and then to carry out assignments suitable for a social dog.