The Guide Dog Is A Dog Of Service

The guide dog is a dog that has been trained to assist the visually impaired and blind people in their daily lives. Their purpose is to guide people through the many different obstacles that could be in their way, while they are trying to navigate to do their daily activities. The person they are guiding also needs to learn to do their part in this team effort. The dog’s owner still needs to know how to get from point A to point B, the guide dog then assists them in their travels.

The dogs are chosen very carefully to be guide dogs. There are certain breeds known to excel in this capacity. German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers are the top dogs used for guide dogs. These breeds are use due to their high degree of intelligence and being such hard working dogs.

History of Guide Dogs

As far back as the 16th century there are references made about guide dogs. Even the famous author, Elizabeth Barrett Browning made mention of them in her writings.

While World War I was going on the first schools to train guide dogs were founded in Germany in the year 1916. This was to provide the veterans who had been blinded in the war with better mobility using the dogs. Other schools opened in other areas of Germany and together they produced more than twenty-five hundred specially-trained guide dogs to help the blind.

During this period there was an American, Dorothy Harrison Eustis, who was breeding some German Shepherds for a variety of work related functions. She traveled to Germany to see the work that was being done training the guide dogs. She thought quite highly on the results she observed.

To make a long story shorter she went on to write an article about the guide dogs. It was published in the “Saturday Evening Post.” It just so happened that in the United States there was a young man who was blind, Morris Frank, who happened to hear about the guide dogs as the Post published the article. The man from Tennessee set his mind to get a guide dog. He needed to get around easier traveling than he did. Having money at his disposal he now wanted more of a sense of independence.

He made contact with Mrs. Eustis requesting a guide dog trained by her. She agreed after several contacts with her and told him to make a trip to Switzerland. He and the dog (Buddy) trained together then came back to the United States. Mrs. Eustis then asked Morris Frank to open a school in the USA. In 1929 he started “The Seeing Eye”.

Today there are many laws allowing guide dogs to accompany their owners into places where animals are not usually allowed. This not true of every region of the world though. So if you are going to be traveling to a foreign country with a guide dog check out the local customs.

These guide dogs provide an invaluable service to the blind person. The person can lead a much more normal life thanks to having the assistance from a loyal guide dog. Owners of these dogs take very good care of them and know exactly how valuable they are.

Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies, check out our selection designer dog clothes and small dog collars online.

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