Guide dog training starts when the dog is about six weeks old. This is undertaken by volunteers, who teach the dog obedience by the use of basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. They must also teach them to walk on a lead. The volunteers make sure that the dogs get used to being in different places, including walking them in town centres and travelling on public transport. The dog has to get used to all of the potential places they may be taken, not just in the home or on a country walk. This helps them to become familiar with the difference noises and smells associated with different environments. The puppies stay with the volunteers until they are about 12 months old.
When the dogs leave the volunteers they begin to learn the specific skills required to help guide the visually-impaired. Guide dog training teaches them to walk in the middle of the pavement, to avoid obstacles, to stop at the kerbside, and to be aware of the traffic. A guide dog will wait at the kerbside until the owner gives the command, forward, telling the dog that it is safe to cross the road. The dogs also have to learn to be aware of obstacles at a height, such as tree branches, so the owner does not incur a head or shoulder injury.
The training of guide dogs has to be very rigorous. The dog will have a lot of responsibility when it is placed with a new owner. Not all of the dogs that receive guide dog training will go on to become a guide dog. Whilst the dogs are undergoing training they wear a brown harness, once they qualify they receive a white harness.
All the dogs have different characters, as do the owners. This means a lot of work is done to make sure they are matched as closely as possible to the owner’s needs and personality.
Dogs are no doubt man’s best friend and companion but guide dogs are much more than that because they are the eyes of visually impaired or blind people. These dogs are trained to help them get around obstacles in day-to-day life. A guide dog extremely important for a blind person, therefore it only makes sense that a pet insurance policy should be obtained for the dog because of the rising veterinary costs. This step is particularly necessary for blind people or visually impaired people because they tend to have a strong emotional tie with their guide dogs.
The first step that you need to take in order to obtain pet insurance for your guide dog would be to decide on the type of coverage your dog would require. If you have to follow a strict budget then you can opt for insurance policies that only protect against accidents or injuries but if you have a little more money to spare then getting an all-inclusive insurance policy would be a good idea. It is best to speak to the insurance agent in order to have an idea of how much coverage your guide dog requires.
Once you have decided on the coverage, it is time to look for a reputable and trustworthy insurance company that can help you out. It is important to be mentally prepared that this is going to be a time consuming task, especially if you want to have the bestpet insurance. You have to approach different insurance companies in order to obtain quotes from them. Once you have the quotes with you, you should compare them to find out the best quote. The quote that offers maximum coverage at a minimum premium is the one that you should go for.
Insurance policies for a guide dog is a vital purchase, therefore you should make sure that you get the policy from a reputable company only. This way, you will be reducing the chances of disputes arising in the future!
If you currently have a life insurance policy, you may find that you may even get a discount by your current provider for guide dog cover, so you can save money whilst also feeling complete peace of mind that your trusty friend is covered.
Becoming the ‘seeing eyes’ for the blind and those with low vision, guide dogs play a wonderful role in helping blind people enjoy a certain amount of independence. The blind person’s safety is dependent on the alertness of their guide dog, and for this reason good guide dog advice would be to not allow other people to feed the dog any kind of treats. This is because the guide dog follows a specific diet which ensures it remains alert and in optimum condition.
A puppy destined to be a guide dog will need to attend socializing classes to be confident and amicable around other dogs and strangers. The classes prepare the puppy for responsiveness to training later on. It is in your dog’s best interests that you ensure that your young dog is up to date with all its vaccinations and that it remains disease and parasite free.
Guide Dog Advice for Traveling Abroad
It often happens that the blind person will need to travel abroad with their guide dog and they will need to find out about access laws with a guide dog in that country. Good advice in this instance would be checking with your veterinarian about how to go about getting an International Health certificate for your dog and checking on the country’s quarantine regulations.
Before you leave for your trip, now is a good time to have your dog micro-chipped, and to ensure a sturdy collar with a disk so that they it can be identified should you and him be separated due to some unforeseen circumstance. When you get back from your overseas trip, take your four-legged friend for a check up at your vet to make sure that he still has his shiny eyes and bushy, wagging tail.
A Mutual Dependency
In exchange for the amazing love and affection received from a guide dog, as the primary caregiver, the blind person will be responsible for meeting the guide dog’s needs: feeding the dog, playing with him, exercising him and making sure he is constantly healthy. Guide dog advice also requires keeping up to date with weather reports, as you don’t want to expose your faithful friend and guide to dangerous weather conditions.
Guide dogs and owners develop such a strong bond, and it is only fair that you remember to constantly praise your helper, friend and guide for a job well done!