Dogs truly are man’s best friend. A first-century mural dating from the Roman ruins of Herculaneum and a 13th century Chinese scroll are believed to be among the earliest depictions of dogs leading people who are blind. Registered Office: Hillfields, Burghfield Common, Reading, Berkshire RG7 3YG. Critical thinkers. Matching a blind or visually impaired person with the right dog for them is a fine art that involves a great deal of thought. Often, reliance on a guide dog is the only thing standing between the owner and serious injury or death. Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is proud to be a member of VISPA (Vision Impaired Service Providers Alliance), which includes Fighting Blindness, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, NCBI (National Council for the Blind of Ireland) and ChildVision the National Education Centre for Blind Children (formerly St. Joseph’s Centre for the Visually Impaired). Dogs can see in the dark much better than humans can. Guide dog instructors look for a number of qualities, including: Guide dogs (colloquially known in the USA as seeing eye dogs) are assistance dogs trained to lead blind and visually impaired people around obstacles. Did you say, “Neil” or “heel?” Owners should choose guide dog names thoughtfully: suggestions include picking short, one- or two-syllable names that allow for faster communication and avoiding names that sound similar to a command — for example, “Kit” could be confused with “sit.”. Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Guide dogs enable visually impaired people to navigate extremely complex environments. Guide Dog Facts Facts about our guide dogs Blind Low Vision NZ guide dogs give people who are blind or have low vision freedom and independence. Taking possession of a guide dog is not in of itself expensive. 2010-11-13) Synopsis and Key Points: How guides dogs work and what we should be aware of when meeting one in its working environment. The Ewoks in Star Wars were based on a dog Photo courtesy Guiding Eyes for the Blind Once it is grown-up, socialized and well-trained, the dog returns to the guide dog school for evaluation. It’s a common misconception that guide dogs indicate when it is safe to cross the street. The first guide dog was issued in 1916 to a blinded veteran, Paul Feyen. 9. January 29th is Seeing Eye Guide Dog Day: a day meant commemorate all the guide dogs out there and the incorporation of the The Seeing Eye (the first guide-dog training school in the US). Guide dogs are trained to ignore all distractions around them and to focus solely on their owners’ needs. 3. The regular career span of a guide dog is 7-10 years. Trivia, truths, and tales abound, and here’s a few fun facts about the guide dog school that started in a farm house in a cow pasture in then-rural Palmetto, Florida. Popular pups. An instructor and a future guide dog practice walking on the Guiding Eyes for the Blind training grounds. Facts about dogs for kids. Guide dogs are trained to display “intelligent disobedience” — they will actually refuse to obey an unsafe command from their owners if they see a danger their owners may have missed, such as a car that ran a red light. Copyright © 2021. Disability discrimination and equal opportunity legislation generally authorizes a blind person accompanied by a guide dog to go anywhere the general public is allowed. Female dogs carry puppies for about nine weeks before birth. 5. In fact, over 70% of dogs used by Guide Dogs of America are labs. All rights reserved, 10 things you might not know about guide dogs, ‘Les Quinze-Vingts’ hospital for the blind. Guide dogs let their hair — or fur — down, too. At a traffic signal, the guide dog does not have the capacity to identify when the light changes from green to yellow to red.