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Showing posts from July 20, 2008

Follow the leader

I was recently amazed to learn about all the training and preparation service and guide dogs are required to go through. After pups are one year old they are assessed for intelligence, temperament, aggression and sensitivity to touch and sound. The dogs are scored in character and temperament and if they pass they are deemed that they are ready for formal training, not ready and have to try again, or are unsuitable is a guide dog. If initially found suitable as a service animal, the dogs then undergo a four-month training program. During this time they will learn and have to be confident in: Walking in a straight line without sniffing. Walking on the left hand side slightly ahead of the trainer. Stopping at all curbs. Waiting for a command before crossing roads. Stopping at the top and bottom of stairs. Avoiding head high obstacles. Avoid spaces too narrow for a dog and person to navigate. Board and travel on all forms of public transportation. Take the trainer to an elevator button. L