[nagdu] Seeking information, new member interested in getting a dog guide

Raven Tolliver ravend729 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 5 22:27:51 UTC 2014

Guide dogs receive proper training to live with other pets, and also
to work in different kinds of environments. Obviously, different dogs
favor different working environments. Guide dogs are just as perfect
for the bustling city as they are for the more laid-back country.
rural travel is a part of formal guide dog training, and also a focus
in class for the students. You can also inform your class instructor
that you would like to focus ,ore on rural travel with your dog during
If you have some really unique circumstances that you think might be
difficult for you and your dog to work through independently, you can
either look into home-training, or ask for follow up service.
Home-training involves training with your dog in your home
environment. Follow up involves an instructor or field rep visiting
you in your home environment after you attended class at the school.
The instructor will offer assistance with guide dog mobility, and some
training or troubleshooting tips.
One school you could look into for home-training is Guiding Eyes. I
believe the program is 10 days. I don't think they prefer this for
1st-time guide dog users, but if your circumstances are special
enough, you will likely be able to make it happen if you get accepted.
There are over a dozen schools in the country. Here's a checklist of
factors that will help you get started on deciding which ones you will
want to apply to:
ownership policy
training methods
location of the school
length of class time
class size
home-training offered
assistance with veterinary expenses offered
age of dogs issued
breeds offered
puppy-raiser contact
graduation ceremony

This list is not comprehensive; however, it includes some of the
factors that are most important to prospective students. Some factors
are more important to certain people than they are to others. For
instance, I was more hell-bent on breed than anything else, and I also
wanted an adult dog because I had never owned or cared for a dog
beforehand. My secondary concerns were financial assistance with
veterinary costs and getting into a school in NYC. Other people focus
on ownership or training methods as a primary concern.
Decide what matters to you most, then research the schools that offer
what you want. Don't settle for less than what you want unless you
exhaust all of your options.

On 7/5/14, Sean Robertson via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Candy welcome to the list. My name is Sean, I liv in a rural part of the
> country too. And I had two guide dogs so far. I'm soon to get my third dog.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Candy Berg via nagdu" <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> To: <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2014 2:14 PM
> Subject: [nagdu] Seeking information,new member interested in getting a dog
> guide
>> Hi All,
>> I  just joined this mailing list in hopes of getting some information
>> regarding dog guides and schools. I  am totally blind, been so all my
>> life,
>> I've always wondered about switching from cane travel to dog guided
>> travel
>> but with school, busy career, etc., I  never fully explored this option.
>> I
>> want to do so now. We live in a  rural area, so my travel needs don't
>> involve heavy traffic situations, more open areas (rural roads and
>> beaches)
>> which seem to me would lend themselves particularly well to dog guided
>> travel. I  love dogs and have always had them as pets; I  know a  dog
>> guide
>> is a  completely different relationship and responsibility. The other
>> reason
>> I'm investigating dog guides at this time is that my last pet dog died a
>> few months ago, so I  don't have the issue of introducing a  dog guide
>> into
>> a  household with a  pet already in residence.
>> I would appreciate anyone's input on my situation, including thoughts
>> about
>> schools; I'm especially interested in programs with some community
>> training
>> element given the nature of where I  live and my travel needs. Any input
>> would be welcome, or suggestions where I  might research all this further.
>> I
>> live in northern California.
>> Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
>> Best,
>> Candy
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