Guide Dogs are trained in the same way as many pets, with lots of repetition and positive reinforcement. At the age of two months, puppies leave their litter and spend about a year in homes with volunteer puppy raisers where they learn left from right and right from wrong. The raisers expose them to everyday sights and sounds and also teach them basic obedience and commands. Puppy raisers provide socialization while giving lots of love. When the dog is 12-14 months old, it returns to our center for assessment, and if selected, begins a four to five month course of formal harness training with a professional Mobility Instructor. During this time, they learn Guide Dog skills, such as finding sidewalks and avoiding obstacles. When the dog successfully completes training, it’s matched with a blind Israeli. The new partners then train together, under the supervision of our instructors for three weeks at our center and an additional week of instruction in their home.