Many people who have pets end up building a mutual relationship of love and affection with the pets, making them an essential part of the family. When this occurs due to a need, such as the guide dog, this relationship is even stronger.
So, get to know some curiosities that make these animals so important for the quality of life of people with visual impairments.
What is the service dog for?
German Shepherd is one of the breeds with the greatest potential to be a guide dog.
Guide dog is the term assigned to dogs that are trained in order to assist individuals who, for some reason, are unable to see and have difficulties to do specific and simple actions, such as seeking goals, getting out of bed, etc.
These animals offer greater autonomy for these people, since they facilitate the performance of common day-to-day activities that involve mobility.
In general, the dog training process is rigorous and lasts for months, as the animals must be able to understand the owners’ command and avoid sounds, smells and other animals that can distract them. The main phases of this process are:
- Screening: this is the selection of puppies that are in good health and are of suitable breeds to perform the functions of a guide dog. Usually, the breeds chosen are Labrador, Golden Retriever and German Shepherd;
- Socialization: in this stage, the puppies are handed over to the volunteer families so that they get used to the interaction between people and to correspond to simple orders;
- Training: from that point on, animals receive more rigid commands focused on the needs of people with visual impairments;
- Instruction: finally, the dogs are guided directly by their tutors.
All steps are carried out by regulated institutions and with specialized professionals to provide guidance and guarantee support to those involved.
Who can have a guide dog?
According to the Helen Keller Guide Dog School, the requirements that must be met to obtain a guide dog are: