The guide dog is a dog educated to facilitate the daily life of its master, visually impaired, and especially in all its movements.
Contrary to popular belief, the guide dog is not only reserved for the blind. Visually impaired people can also claim it.
The difference between the guide dog and the white cane: many visually impaired people move with the help of white cane. This technical assistance allows the blind person to find their way into the space environment and to facilitate their movement by touching obstacles in order to avoid them.
The main difference between the guide dog and the white cane is at the level of obstacles: with the cane, the person must have contact with the obstacle or the benchmark to locate it while with the guide dog, this same obstacle will be avoided naturally. It is therefore necessary for the person to find other benchmarks before considering the acquisition of a guide dog.
What a guide dog brings : through his education and his guidance work, the dog will bring to his master:
- Autonomy in his travels: the master is no longer obliged to be accompanied by a third person if he knows his route well.
- Safety: the dog will naturally bypass the various obstacles going so far as to disobey its master in the event of real danger (Example: if the dog wants to bypass a pit and the master insists on going straight, the dog goes to bed for prevent moving forward)
- Fluidity: journeys become more fluid and less tiring with the help of the dog because all obstacles are avoided.
- Better relational: people get in touch more easily with the visually impaired person when they have a guide dog.
- A reassuring presence at his side allowing to break with everyday loneliness.
What the dog can do : at the end of his education, the guide dog knows 50 orders which allow him:
- To obey orders of directions
- Identify an obstacle, report it and get around it
- Search and take a pedestrian crossing
- Stop in front of a sidewalk
- Secure a climb or descent of stairs
- Find some infrastructure such as a mailbox, bus stop, etc.
Stop the preconceived ideas :
- The guide dog is not a GPS: its master must indicate where to go thanks to orders (example: forward front, left passage, search right for the seat, etc.) and the locomotion courses he received to teach him how to get to know his journeys and his environment. Working with a guide dog is teamwork.
- The guide dog does not recognize the colors, nor the “little guy” on the crossings. It is his master who analyzes the situation by listening to traffic and who decides on the right time to cross safely. He may be helped by the sound lights.
- The “poor” dog: the guide dog only works a few hours a day when its master has to move (example: go to the bakery, take his dog for relaxation, go to work, etc.). The rest of the time, this one becomes a good pet dog again.
Guide dog breeds used:
90% of our dogs come from our national breeding network (including CESECAH) and the breeds produced are:
The golden cross Labrador
The Royal Poodle
The German Shepherd