Except for the month where the first autumn leaves usually fall and decorate the streets with their beautiful colors, September is also the month where we celebrate national guide dogs. But honestly, don’t we celebrate them every month of the year? Guide dogs are amazing and we love them!
This is why to go with the occasion, we have prepared some interesting and pawsome facts about guide dogs that will woof your mind!
Except for being cute, guide dogs are specially trained to assist people who have low or no vision at all. They have to learn where to stop, for example at curbs, stairs, move around different obstacles and responds to all types of commands. And remember that while guide dogs are adorable, they are working all the time so you should not distract them as they should focus entirely on their task!
Now! Sit comfortably! Read Carefully!
1. Wherever you go – I go!
Guide dogs go wherever their partner goes – they are a team after all! Under legal protections in lots of countries with some very rare and few exceptions, these furry guides are allowed to go with their owners anywhere that the general public can too.
2. Only the best stay!
Surprisingly, not all dogs manage to graduate from guide school. Many of the programs require a high percent of success rate and only the most qualified “students” are able to earn their title as a guide dog.
3. The Popular Squad
When it comes to guard dogs there are some specific breeds that are most often chosen, because of their overall traits such as size, temperament and intelligence. The most commonly met ones you will see are golden retrievers, Labradors, crosses between the two and German shepherds.
4. Always on alert!
Guide dogs must always be on alert in order to ensure their owner’s safety. It is a highly responsible job and they are specifically trained to lead around numerous obstacles, including hazards that may be well above their size like branches, hanging metals and such. The dogs are responsible for spaces that are a few times wider and higher than themselves to make sure their owner is safe and sound.
5. The name matters!
Owner should make sure to think it through before choosing a name for their companion. It is suggested to pick a short one that will allow faster communication and to avoid names that may sound similar to commands.
6. Thinking twice is wise
Guide dogs are trained to refuse to obey a command from their owner if they feel it is unsafe. They must make sure that everything is safe and if the owner has missed a red light for example or any other danger, they will disobey to be safe.
7. They retire too!
Guide dogs, just like humans eventually retire from duty. They usually retire after around eight to ten years of service.