Guide Dog Schools usually train their own Guide Dog Instructors. As an aspiring instructor you would need to seek an apprenticeship at the school of your choice. Once accepted you can expect the apprenticeship to last for a period of at least three years before being fully qualified. During that time you will learn aspects of dog care and guide dog training, mobility and orientation, as well as working directly with [...]
Our instructors are always available to address any questions our clients may have about training or care of their Guide Dog. Our trainers also conduct follow-up interviews by phone with clients who have just completed their four-week instruction, and will follow up with regular home visits. Follow-up is an essential part of our program as we provide a lifetime commitment to all of our graduates.
Guide dogs trained at the Center are taught to deal with difficult conditions that exist in Israel, including numerous types of obstacles on the sidewalk, difficult traffic conditions, and the hot climate.
A dog and person can operate safely at the completion of the instruction period. However, the dog must get adjusted to its new home and to its partner’s routine. It takes about six months before the pair can function smoothly as a team.
Yes. The dog is taught to judge its partner’s width as well as its own. This enables the dog to safely guide the blind person around other people, parked cars on sidewalks, telephone or electric poles, etc. While more difficult, the dog is also taught to judge height which enables it to guide the person safely to avoid overhead obstacles such as low-hanging branches.
A Guide Dog must learn to sit, stay and turn on command. It must learn to ignore any distractions, including children playing, other animals and birds while working.
The dog is trained to stop at all curbs and wait for its partner’s command to go forward or to turn.
The dog doesn’t. People who are blind generally know how to reach a destination by knowing how many blocks to go, in which direction to turn, etc. The person gives the dog commands that will enable the dog to guide them safely to their destinations. The basic commands are “forward,” “right,” and “left.” In all, the dogs understand about 40 commands—in Hebrew. (Click here for a list of commands.) In a [...]
Dogs don’t see colors the same way we do and can’t read traffic lights. The dog’s blind partner learns to judge the movement of traffic by its sounds. At the appropriate time, he or she will command the dog, “kadema” (forward). The dog will not carry out the command unless it is safe to do so. This is called “intelligent disobedience.”
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 [...]