It is a known fact that dogs play important roles in the treatment of people with a variety of health and psychological disorders. One example is the guide dog which assist blind and visually impaired people by avoiding obstacles and negotiating traffic as they go about their normal daily life. Before the introduction of guide dogs, blind people depended on the help and support of others to move around.The cane was helpful in giving the blind some sense of freedom but it could not be fully depended upon like a well trained guide dog.
The harness and U-shaped handle helps the dog handler send and receive information between him and his dog. In this relationship, dog and handler are a team. The dog uses commands passed by the human to safely lead the team to their destination.
The best dog breeds for blind people are Labrador, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd dogs and other large breeds. The selected dogs are carefully bred, socialized and raised for over one year by volunteers, then trained for 4 to 6 months by professional trainers after which they are introduced and placed with their Blind handlers. Guide dogs begin their training as puppies which could last for more than 1 year after which they are accessed and if successful they begin their lives officially as guide dogs.
Training and breeding guide dogs is costly with owners paying up to $15,000 to own one. Picking the right dog for the right handler is very important and it requires the breeders and trainers to have information such as Age, Medical condition, lifestyle, and living condition of the person needing the services of the dog so as to enable them train the dog for the specific needs of the intended handler.
What’s more, since Blind people can be vulnerable to attacks, guide dogs provide security and help when necessary.