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  • 1. International Guide Dogs Brief overviews of each organization Rachel Webber 2014
  • 2. We are all Connected
  • 3. 3 Table of Contents Pages 4-18 : International Guide Dog Federation Page 19,20 : Guide Dog Users, Inc. North America Pages 23-36 : Leader Dogs Pages 37-43 : Seeing Eye Pages 44-51 : Fidelco Pages 52-60 : Southeastern Pages 61-70 : Freedom Pages 71-80 : Guide Dog Foundation Pages 81-104 : Guiding Eyes Pages 105-140 : Cali/Ore Guide dogs Pages 142-148: Canadian Guide Dogs Pages 149-148: Mira Pages 114-*: BC & Alberta Europe Pages 116-128 : UK Guide Dogs Pages 176-186: Pathfinders Pages 129-* : Irish Asia Pages 131-* : Japan Pages 134-* : Taiwan & Huikuang Pages 136-* : Hong Kong Middle East Pages 138-* : Lara Africa Pages 140-* : South African
  • 4. 4 International Guide Dog Federation Reading, England U.K
  • 5. 5 IGDF About us ● The International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) was formed in 1989, following meetings over several years of Guide Dog organizations around the World. ● The IGDF facilitates a sharing of knowledge, experience, highest quality standards, methodologies and help for new or existing schools wanting to improve the quality of their operations. ● All of this is focused on improving the safe independent mobility of blind and vision impaired people throughout the world. Membership provides: ● An Accreditation and Assessment process which ensures that operational standards are maintained and improved in relation to the world benchmark high quality standard ● A biennial seminar to facilitate exchange of information ● The IGDF office acts as a communication hub, which keeps members informed, manages the website, facilitates links to areas of expertise ● A biannual International professional journal ● The ability to get advice about breeding, Guide Dog Instructor or dog training, facility set up and management, access, marketing, fundraising and operational management ● The sharing of ideas and experiences ● Possible exchange of puppies, dogs or genetic material
  • 6. 6 History of IGDF 1● The idea of the International Federation of Guide Dog Schools for the Blind (IFGDSB) - as it was originally known - stems from conferences held in France (1973) and London (1976). At the conclusion of the third international conference in Vienna in 1983, attendees agreed the formation of a European- based group to consider "the formulation of guidelines and standards for the training of dogs and to teach blind people the use of dogs". The meeting agreed that the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Centre would consolidate the work of a working group consisting of representatives from the UK, Holland, France, Scandinavia and Switzerland and that other guide dog schools could be invited to participate. ● This led to a meeting at Leamington in September 1986 at which 28 delegates from 15 schools and 10 countries considered the papers prepared by the Vienna working group. Following discussion, the document was rewritten and ratified by delegates. The next task of the Vienna working group was to draft proposals for the establishment of an international organisation. These proposals were considered in October 1987 at a conference attended by guide dog organisations worldwide and were discussed with solicitors on 5th October 1987. ● In April 1988, another international conference was held, attended by 40 delegates from 16 countries, representing 25 guide dog organisations. At the end of the two day debate, delegates from all schools signed a document prepared by solicitors, forming an unincorporated association known as "The International Provisional Council for Guide Dog Schools for the Blind". They appointed an executive body consisting of members of the original 1983 Vienna
  • 7. 7 History of IGDF 2● The Council then worked with solicitors to draft the Memorandum and Articles of Association establishing the IFGDSB as a registered company in the United Kingdom - legal documents that were ratified on 12th April1989. The new organisation was created to focus upon: ● access ● animal breeding, care and veterinary matters ● funding opportunities ● staff selection and training ● student selection and training ● This decision to found it was taken by these original schools in order to meet the growing demand of guide dog organisations, looking for an international federation that would recognise, and unite, all other similar guide dog service providers around the world. This new organisation was therefore set up: ● to allow the organisations to communicate with each other ● to exchange information and experience in the area of breeding, training, handling and assessing the dogs ● to act as a body which would offer advice to its individual members ● In 1992, inspection of member schools began. Schools were accredited by an agreed list of assessors within agreed operational guidelines. A newsletter was also initiated. By 1996, the Federation had 45 members and a seminar on dog breeding and genetics was held. ● By 2000, there were 61 international members, the Assessment Committee became the Accreditation Committee and Products, Training and Research Working Groups were formed. By now, seminars were an important biennial event, bringing members together from across the world. In 2001, attempts were made to increase
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  • 9. 9 History of Guide Dogs 1● While there is evidence that man's relationship with wolves stretches back 400,000 years, man's domestication of dogs coincides with the evolution of early breeds of dogs about 150,000 years ago. ● The first special relationship between a dog and a blind person is lost in the mists of time, but perhaps the earliest recorded example is depicted in a first-century AD mural in the buried ruins of Roman Heculaneum. There are other records from Asia and Europe up to the Middle Ages, of dogs leading blind men. ● However, the first systematic attempt to train dogs to aid blind people came around 1780 at 'Les Quinze-Vingts' hospital for the blind in Paris. Shortly afterwards, in 1788, Josef Riesinger, a blind sieve-maker from Vienna, trained a Spitz so well that people often questioned whether he was blind. ● In 1819, Johann Wilhelm Klein, founder of the Institute for the Education of the Blind (Blinden-Erziehungs-Institut) in Vienna, mentioned the concept of the guide dog in his book on educating blind people (Lehrbuch zum Unterricht der Blinden) and described his method for training dogs. A Swiss man, Jakob Birrer, wrote in 1847 about his experiences of being guided over a period of five years by a dog he had specially trained. ● The modern guide dog story, however, begins during the First World War, with thousands of soldiers returning from the Front blinded, often by poison gas. A German doctor, Dr Gerhard Stalling, got the idea of training dogs en masse to help those affected. While walking with a patient one day through the hospital grounds, he was called away urgently and left his dog with the patient as company. When he returned, he saw signs, from the way the dog was behaving, that it was looking after
  • 10. 10 History of Guide Dogs 2● Dr Stalling started to explore ways of training dogs to become reliable guides and in August 1916 opened the world's first guide dog school for the blind in Oldenburg. The school grew and many new branches opened in Bonn, Breslau, Dresden, Essen, Freiburg, Hamburg, Magdeburg, Münster and Hannover, training up to 600 dogs a year. These schools provided dogs not only to ex-servicemen, but also to blind people in Britain, France, Spain, Italy, the United States, Canada and the Soviet Union. ● Unfortunately, due to a reduction in dog quality, the venture had to shut down in 1926, but by that time another large guide dog training centre had opened in Potsdam, near Berlin, which was proving to be highly successful. This school's work broke new ground in the training of guide dogs and it was capable of accommodating around 100 dogs at a time and providing up to 12 fully-trained guide dogs a month. ● Around this time, a wealthy American woman, Dorothy Harrison Eustis, was already training dogs for the army, police and customs service in Switzerland. It was to be Dorothy Eustis's energy and expertise that would properly launch the guide dog movement internationally. ● Having heard about the Potsdam centre, Eustis was curious to study the school's methods and spent several months there. She came away so impressed that she wrote an article about it for the Saturday Evening Post in America in October 1927. ● A blind American man, Morris Frank, heard about the article and bought a copy of the newspaper. He later said that the five cents the newspaper cost him "bought an article that was worth more than a million dollars to me. It changed my life". He wrote to Eustis, telling her that he would very much like to help introduce guide dogs to the United States.
  • 11. 11 History of Guide Dogs 3● Taking up the challenge, Dorothy Eustis trained a dog, Buddy, and brought Frank over to Switzerland to learn how to work with the dog. Frank went back to the United States with what many believe to be America's first guide dog. Eustis later established the Seeing Eye School in Morristown, New Jersey, in 1929, but before this went back to Switzerland to do further work there. Meanwhile, an Italian Guide Dog organisation, Sculola Nazionale Cani Guida per Ciechi was also established in 1928. ● The success of the United States experience encouraged Eustis to set up guide a dog school at Vevey in Switzerland in 1928. She called this school, like the one a year later in New Jersey, 'L'Oeil qui Voit', or The Seeing Eye (the name comes from the Old Testament of the Bible - 'the hearing ear and the seeing eye', Proverbs, XX, 12). The schools in Vevey, New Jersey and Italy were the first guide dog schools of the modern era that have survived the test of time. ● In 1930, two British women, Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond, heard about The Seeing Eye and contacted Dorothy Eustis, who sent over one of her trainers. In 1931, the first four British guide dogs completed their training and three years later The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association was founded in the UK. ● Since then, guide dog schools have opened all round the world, and more open their doors every decade. Thousands of people have had their lives transformed by guide dogs, thanks to the organisations that provide them. The commitment of the people who work for these organisations, and the people who financially support them, is as deep today as it ever was, and the heirs of Dorothy Eustis's legacy continue to work for the increased mobility, dignity and independence of blind and partially-sighted people the world over. The movement goes on.
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  • 13. 13 History of Guide Dogs 4● 79 Excavations in Pompeii reveal a wall-painting of a blind man apparently being led by his dog. ● 1200 A Chinese scroll, now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York shows a blind man being led by a dog. ● 1260 An Irish reference, attributed to Bartholomew, of a dog guiding a blind man. ● 1500-1700 Similar references appear more frequently throughout the 16th Century in woodcuts, engravings and paintings throughout the world. ● 1715 The "Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green" is a ballad about a knight who lost his sight in a battle and subsequently became a beggar. His friends gave him a dog on a lead and, also, a bell. ● 1727 Gainsborough (1727-1788) painted "Blind Man on the Bridge" which depicts a dog leading its master. ● 1755 William Bigg (1755-1828) depicts "The Blind Sailor" crossing a narrow bridge with the help of his dog. ● 1790 Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) produced some engravings for his book "A General History of Quadrupeds". One engraving showed a blind man being lead across a bridge by a dog. ● 1813 An engraving was published in the magazine "Das Auge" (The Eye) by George Joseph Beer, a leading Viennese eye specialist. Beer wanted to highlight the man in the foreground wearing glasses, but in the background there is a blind man working
  • 14. 14 History of Guide Dogs 5● 1819 The earliest surviving description of a systematic method of training guide dogs was published by Dr. Johann Wilhelm Klein in Vienna. Klein became the Director of the Institute for the Education of the Blind in Vienna. His book describes a method of training the dogs with a stick attached to the collar and held in the left hand. The stick had a crossbar, which may have given information about the sideways movement of the dog, as well as the forward movement. Klein no longer had the dog on a leash and the blind man no longer used a walking stick. Unfortunately the idea of using a primitive type of harness was not built upon and remained unused for almost 100 years. ● 1847 Jacob Birrer (blind Swiss man) published a book highlighting the use of training dogs as guides. Once again the strategy was back to leads and walking sticks. His ideas were not developed any further. ● 1864 In Trollope's novel, "Can You Forgive Her", Lady Glenorca tells the Duke of St. Bungay that she will lead him as "the little dogs lead blind men". ● 1878 British Parliament exempts licence fees for "shepherds' dogs and "those kept by the blind as guides". ● 1899 A drawing from "The Graphic" shows how dogs trained by the German Red Cross Ambulance Dogs Association were used to help the wounded on the battlefield. The Director, Dr. Gerhard Stalling, used these same dogs in early attempts to guide blinded veterans. This is the start of using larger breeds of dogs, mostly Collies, as guides. ● 1914-18 World War 1 re-sparked interest in guide dog due to so many young men being blinded following exposure to mustard gas or as the result of shell shock. The German Red Cross Ambulance Dogs Association established a training centre in Oldenberg. The first guide dog was issued in 1916 to a blinded veteran, Paul Feyen. Within a year there were 100 guide dogs issued and 539 guide dogs had been issued by 1919. In 1922, the first
  • 15. 15 History of Guide Dogs 7● 1923 Blinded Veterans were now dealt with by the German Shepherd Dog Association, which opened a training school in 1923 in Potsdam. This group formalised the training methods that are common to most guide dog schools today, i.e. selecting good dogs, careful matching, following-up in the home environment. By the 1930's there were around 4,000 qualified guide dogs in Germany. ● 1925 The original school in Oldenberg was formally taken over by the German Association for the Blind. ● 1927 George and Dorothy Eustis, who were selectively breeding German Shepherd dogs in their Fortunate Fields kennels in Switzerland, visited the Potsdam School. Highly impressed, Dorothy Eustis wrote to an American newspaper with her account of the visit. This was published in November 1927. Many letters flooded back from the United States, and one, in particular, from Morris Frank, stimulated Dorothy Eustis and Jack Humphrey, the head trainer at her Fortunate Fields kennels, to work with Potsdam trainers to prepare a dog for Morris. ● 1928 Morris Frank arrived in Switzerland in April and trained with Guide Dog "Buddy". Morris and "Buddy" returned to New York in June. They faced sceptical journalists, but won them over by crossing a wide, busy street without injury, and this incident received wide press coverage.
  • 16. 16 History of Guide Dogs 7● 1929 Mrs. Eustis established the Seeing Eye School in Morristown, New Jersey. Realising that the major problem would be training suitable Instructors, she returned to Switzerland. There she established a training school near her Fortunate Fields kennels. It was here that she also started training her own guide dogs. ● 1931 Mrs. Eustis trained and supplied ten dogs to Italy, eleven to France, and three to Switzerland. Mrs. Eustis also qualified four Guide Dog Instructors that year. Two went to the Seeing Eye School in New York one to Italy and one, Captain Laikhoff, went to the UK. There, he established a centre in Cheshire where the first four British guide dogs completed their training. Quarantine regulations hindered trained guide dogs being sent to Britain and a search commenced for other suitable breeds to train. These were predominantly Labradors. ● 1932 Mrs. Eustis loaned Georges Gabriel (from Switzerland) to run the second guide dog class in Britain. ● 1933 Mrs. Eustis, again, loaned Georges Gabriel to run the third guide dog class in Britain. ● 1934 Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (GDBA) was established. ● 1940 Leamington Spa opened as the first UK guide dog Training Centre.
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  • 19. 19 GUIDE DOG USERS INC. Supporting Guide Dog Teams Since 1972 ● In an effort to assist people in reviewing all of the information about the many aspects of training with a guide dog, GDUI has compiled a survey. Those schools who participated have answered questions on a variety of topics. Visit the GDUI Guide Dog School Survey pages for more information. ● Guide Dog Users, Inc. is, first and foremost, an advocacy organization, assisting individual members with advice and useful contact information and advocating at both state and Federal levels on behalf of the guide-dog handling population. Our widely-praised, award-winning advocacy achievements are accomplished through legislative and judicial efforts as well as public education. ● GDUI helps individuals who face discrimination involving housing, employment, entry to public places and transportation. GDUI's many affiliates around the country work tirelessly to assure that guide dog handlers in their areas have equal access to taxi cabs, doctors' offices and restaurants with their guide dogs. ● Members also educate Congress, state and local legislatures and government agencies about the role of guide dogs and other assistance animals. GDUI prides itself on its work with coalitions both inside and outside of the assistance animal movement to strengthen our rights.
  • 20. 20 Guide Dog School Surveys 2006 Downloadable PDFs of the 2006 Surveys are available, see printed results provided separately Categories: ● Applicants ● Program Options ● Instructors ● Breeding and Selection ● Puppy Raising ● Training and Standards ● Graduate Services ● Post-Training Policies Participating schools: ● Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc., Connecticut ● Freedom Guide Dogs for the Blind, New York ● Guide Dogs of America, California ● Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., California & Oregon ● Guide Dogs of the Desert International, California ● Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc., New York ● Guide Dogs of Texas, Inc., Texas only ● Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Inc., New York ● Kansas Specialty Dog Service, Kansas ● Leader Dogs for the Blind, Inc., Michigan ● Pilot Dogs, Inc., Ohio ● Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc., Florida ● The Seeing Eye, Inc., New Jersey
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  • 23. 23 Leader dogs For the Blind Leader Dogs for the Blind Rochester Hills, Michigan U.S.A
  • 24. 24 About us  Founded by three Detroit-area Lions Clubs members in 1939, Leader Dogs for the Blind provides guide dogs to people who are blind and visually impaired to enhance their mobility, independence and quality of life.  Each year, over 270 clients attend our 26-day residential training program to be paired with a guide dog.  This is a life-changing event that opens the door to independence, safety and self-worth for many of our clients.  In addition to our guide dog program, we offer programs that enhance a person’s independence and quality of life in other ways, including:  Orientation and mobility training  GPS training  Seminars for Orientation and Mobility professionals.
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  • 26. 26 Breeds Used: Labrador Retriever 80%, Golden Retriever 15%, German Shepherd Dog 5%
  • 27. 27 Puppy Raising: local, distance, inmate prison program  A puppy raiser is responsible for raising a Future Leader Dog for a period of approximately 12-16 months according to Leader Dog guidelines. The raiser will provide the puppy with:  safe environment  love and nurturing  socialization experiences  obedience  good manners training
  • 28. 28 Puppy raisers are guided by:
  • 29. 29 Leader Dog Puppy Raiser Manual In for Training (IFT) Standards
  • 30. 30 Monthly meetings with the contin support and guidance from local area volunteer puppy counsel
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  • 39. 39 Seeing Eye Morristown, New Jersey U.S.A
  • 40. 40 Seeing Eye About us ● The Seeing Eye, Inc. is the oldest guide dog school in the world. ● Twelve times a year, as many as 24 students at a time visit the Morristown, N.J. campus to discover the exhilarating experience of traveling with a Seeing Eye dog. ● Since 1929, The Seeing Eye has partnered with people who are blind who seek to enhance their independence, dignity, and self-confidence through the use of Seeing Eye® dogs. ● Our students – people who are blind or visually impaired – come from all over the United States and Canada to spend up to a month training with a new Seeing Eye® dog. ● They range in age from 16 to senior citizens, their home environments may be rural or urban, and they may be homemakers, volunteers, or judges.
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  • 42. 42 Morris Frank and Buddy ● In 1927, a young man named Morris Frank read an article about dogs being trained as guides for blinded veterans of World War I. ● Frustrated by his own lack of mobility as a blind person, he was inspired to write its author for help. Dorothy Harrison Eustis was an American training German shepherd dogs in Switzerland, and when she received Morris Frank’s letter, she agreed to help him. ● He promised he would return to the United States and spread the word about these wonderful dogs. ● In 1928, having completed instruction in Switzerland, he arrived in New York City, proving the ability of his dog Buddy before throngs of news reporters. His one-word telegram to Mrs. Eustis told the entire story … “Success.” ● The Seeing Eye was born, with the
  • 43. 43 Puppy Raising and 4-H Program ● In 1942 the school partnered with 4-H to organize and maintain puppy-raising clubs. ● Although many of our clubs still have a strong 4-H connection, there are also many clubs independent of 4-H. ● Clubs meet regularly to plan outings, provide socialization and share tips on teaching good puppy behavior. ● When Seeing Eye puppies reach the age of 7 or 8 weeks, they are delivered to the homes of volunteer “foster families” who nurture and care for their charges until they are about 16 to 18 months old. ● Families in New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and parts of Maryland and New York, give the dogs abundant affection, teach them basic obedience, and expose them to a variety of social situations they will later encounter as working dogs. ● Many of these volunteer families have children, while a number of retired adults also volunteer their time for our puppies.
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  • 49. 49 Fidelco Bloomfield, Connecticut U.S.A
  • 50. 50 Fidelco About us ● Charlie and Robbie Kaman's intiuitive knowledge of how German Shepherd dogs could help people who are legally blind live more normal lives was the genesis of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation. ● Beginning in 1960, the work done by this innovative couple and ever-growing group of dedicated and tireless staff, volunteers and supporters has reached out and touched thousands of clients' and family members' lives. ● Today, Fidelco is an internationally-recognized leader in the guide dog industry. And the legacy of dedication and quality given to the organization by the Kamans will guide Fidelco for ● Each Fidelco Guide Dog takes two years, 15,000 hands-on hours and $45,000 to produce. They are given to clients at no cost. Fidelco provides 24/7 client support for the entire working life of its guide dogs – typically 10 years. Fidelco relies solely on the generosity and financial support of individuals, foundations, corporations and civic organizations to help Share the Vision®. ● Fidelco has trained and placed over 1,350 German Shepherd Guide Dogs throughout North America – in 41 states and five Canadian provinces. Fidelco pioneered In- Community Placement in the United States — a process that allows all guide dog users to be trained in the communities where they live and work. ● Fidelco also has placed hundreds of its German Shepherd Dogs with law enforcement agencies, first responders, search and rescue, and missing child recovery
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  • 52. 52 A breed within a breed ● The Fidelco German Shepherd was created from Bavarian stock. It is an outstanding and exclusive product of selective breeding from strong working lines and has evolved to be truly a breed within a breed. ● Our dogs possess the characteristics of the ideal working guide; intelligence, temperament, stamina and stability. ● They are responsible for our clients’ safety at all times. This formidable task requires us to have an uncompromising focus on the quality of the breed, which is a hallmark of the
  • 53. 53 Volunteer Puppy Raisers● In terms of pure selflessness, it is our volunteer puppy raisers that rise to the top. They take our pups at about eight weeks of age, love and care for them, participate in weekly socialization and training activities at the Fidelco training center and then, when the pups are approximately 14 to 16 months old, return them to us for formal guide dog training. ● Thousands of families and individuals have participated in the Fidelco volunteer puppy raising program over the years. They expose the pup to a wide variety of experiences in the home, on the street and in the world at large; the very things that the dogs will be required to deal with as a guide for someone with a visual disability. ● The payback is immeasurable. The freedom and independence that the pup brings to its human partner is based on the love and care provided by the Fidelco puppy raisers.
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  • 60. 60 Southeastern Guide Dogs Palmetto, Florida U.S.A
  • 61. 61 Southeastern About us ● Established in 1982, Southeastern Guide Dogs currently has more than +400 active guide dog teams across the country and continues to create more than 70 new guide dog teams annually ● Located on 35 manicured acres in Palmetto, Florida, Southeastern Guide Dogs is accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation in Reading, England and is a member of the Council of U.S. Dog Guide Schools. Southeastern Guide Dogs is one of only 10 fully certified guide dogs school in the country and the only one located in the southeastern US. ● Southeastern Guide Dogs' mission is to create and nurture a partnership between a visually ● Paws for Independence™ - pairs individuals with visual impairments with professionally trained guide dogs during a 26-day residential training class based at our campus in Palmetto, Florida. Training begins on the mile-and-a-half-"Freedom Walk", a virtual outdoor classroom that presents the guide dog teams with a variety of navigational challenges (e. g. a railroad crossing, bridges, etc). As students progress, the training expands to outside locations, including shopping centers and urban areas with high pedestrian and vehicular traffic. ● Paws for Patriots™- provides guide dogs to veterans with visual impairments; service dogs to veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; and facility therapy dogs to military hospitals such as the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Quantico, Andrews Air Force Base, and Camp LeJeune. ● Gifted Canines™- provides law enforcement agencies, hospitals, assisted- living facilities, nursing homes and individuals with special needs with dogs who excel in narcotic or arson detection, search and rescue, therapy and other specialized careers. Our school places dogs in the Gifted Canines™ program only if they do not meet the specific criteria
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  • 63. 63 Fast Facts ● Our school operates its own breeding colony, with approximately 50 breeder dogs. ● Three Breeds: Labradors, golden retrievers and goldadors (Labrador/golden retriever mix) ● Number of puppies currently being raised by volunteers: approximately 300 ● Number of puppies born on campus each year: approximately 250 ● Number of dogs currently in training: approximately 80 ● Number of miles a Southeastern Guide Dog trainer walks in a year – approximately 2,300 ● Most common names sponsors choose for puppies – Maggie, Buddy, Rose/Rosie ● Number of dogs currently deployed: more than 1,000, including over 410 active guide dogs, more than 100 Gifted Canines, approximately 250 puppies in puppy raiser homes, and more than 200 dogs and puppies in the school’s kennels
  • 64. 64 Our Puppy Raisers: Where the Transformation Begins ● Training an exceptional guide dog begins before a puppy is even born. Our intentional breeding program means our puppies come from parents who are known for their intelligence, loving personality, and trainability. Newborn puppies are tickled and stretched as part of our early socialization program. ● Before they’re weaned, young puppies are exposed to sights, sounds, textures, and plenty of puppy-hugging volunteers. House training starts early to make the next step in their training that much more enjoyable for everyone. ● Puppy raisers are volunteer families who agree to welcome a future guide dog into their home. ● These homes are where our young puppies’ training and socialization takes an important turn; it is here that they become comfortable with home life, learn basic obedience, and begin to experience the world. ● Puppy raisers take our puppies everywhere—to work, out to eat, on trips, and even grocery shopping. This real-world training imitates the experiences that our dogs need to successfully guide a
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  • 72. 72 Freedom Guide Dogs Cassville, New York U.S.A
  • 73. 73 About us ● Founded in 1992, Accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation, over 160 clients throughout the East Coast of the US. Freedom employs 10 people and places 25-30 guide dogs each year. ● Freedom's Hometown Training program allows a certified guide dog instructor to bring a trained guide dog right to the blind person's home where they train for 2 weeks in a familiar, home setting. This is at no cost to the client. ● Located in upstate NY, Freedom was founded in 1992 by husband and wife team Eric and Sharon Loori with the purpose of providing a new way of guide dog training and placement to the blind and visually
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  • 75. 75 Breeds Used ● Labrador Retriever: The Labrador is Freedom’s tried and true breed. They adapt well to various situations and are particularly well suited for people with special needs. ● Standard Poodle: The Standard Poodle is very trainable and a very good thinker. Poodles also have the advantage of not shedding, creating a hypoallergenic alternative to other working breeds. The Standard Poodle is outgoing, but can also be very serious. ● Golden Retrievers: Goldens are friendly, energetic,
  • 76. 76 ● American White Shepherds: The AWS possesses a solid structure and all round good health. They are intelligent and enthusiastic eaters who also demonstrate a strong work ethic while being responsive and adaptable to a ● Smooth-Coated Collie: This herding breed is intelligent, easy going, even tempered and fairs well with other animals and people.
  • 77. 77 Programs overview: Puppy Raising Puppy Raiser Responsibilities: ● Raise the puppy to be well-behaved. This means no jumping and no begging. ● The puppy needs to be leash trained. You walk the dog, the dog does not walk you. The puppy should also be able to go to the bathroom on leash (not while on a walk). ● Housebreak the puppy. The crate training method is preferred. ● Socializing the puppy is key. Expose the dog to as much as possible. Take to stores, church, school, around large groups of people, small children and other animals. ● It is required to attend at least one obedience class with your puppy, whether at Freedom Guide Dogs or at another facility. ● A Puppy Raiser is a volunteer who agrees to raise a puppy in their home for Freedom Guide Dogs so that it can one day become a guide dog. At about eight weeks of age the puppy goes to live with the Puppy Raiser for one year to a year and a half. During that time the Puppy Raiser plays a key role in the socialization and development of the puppy which greatly increases its chances of graduating from the guide dog program.
  • 78. 78 International Outreach with Japanese Guide Dog Association ● In 2004, Mr. And Mrs. Loori met Satoru Tawada (Sam) of the Japanese Guide Dog Association at the International Guide Dog Users Conference in 2004. They discovered many shared beliefs and missions. As a result of this initial meeting, they determined to begin a series of joint projects that would benefit the mission of both organizations. ● The first need of the Japanese Guide Dog Association was for quality dogs to train and place. Freedom Guide Dogs initially purchased two German Shepherd dog puppies and had them raised and socialized by Freedom Puppy Raiser families while they were properly prepared for import into Japan. These dogs were then trained by Japanese Guide Dog Association trainers and placed with Japanese clients with great success. ● Building on this success, the Japanese Guide Dog Association felt that the acquisition of breeding animals to extend their breeding programs should be the next logical step. To accomplish this, Freedom Guide Dogs puppy raiser families raised two Labrador Retrievers (Tamika and Tia) from their successful breeding program, carefully selected for future breeding potential. The first such dogs were received in Japan in 2012 and Tamika had her first litter of nine puppies, which should enter training in early 2014. Tia whelped her first litter of eleven puppies in May 2013. ● Freedom has raised and provided two German Shepherd dogs to the Japanese Guide Dog Association. Both dogs were trained as guide dogs. Kimika (Kimi), a German Shepherd female was sent to Japan in the summer of 2013 for their breeding program. Kimi’s brother, Knight, will be sent in December 2013 for their breeding program as well. Sky, an American White Shepherd was raised by puppy raisers in NY and trained by Eric Loori for guide work. She was sent to Japan in 2013 and is currently being readied for guide placement by her Japanese trainer, Kimiko. ● In April 2013, Yukiko and Kimiko, trainers for the Japanese Guide Dog Association visited the Freedom Guide Dog facility in upstate NY. They came to observe training techniques as well as to evaluate pups for possible future breeding stock. The chose two yellow Labrador Retriever pups that they named Jingles and Judy. Both pups are being raised by puppy raisers in NY and will be sent to the JGDA in 2014 for their breeding program. Also joining the JGDA breeding program is black Labrador Retriever, Daylee, who will be sent in December 0f 2013. ● In January of 2013, Eric Loori with guide-dog-in training, Sky, met with Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, Congressman Richard Hanna of NY and Freedom Guide Dogs Board member, Paula Scott. The meeting was an excellent opportunity to tell Ambassador Sasae about the ongoing collaboration between Freedom Guide Dogs and the Japanese Guide Dog Association.
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  • 85. 85 Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. Smithtown, New York USA
  • 86. 86 About Us History ● A group of civic leaders wanted to establish a guide dog school, near the New York metropolitan area, that did not charge for its services. They founded the Guide Dog Foundation in 1946 as "Guiding Eyes Inc." They located William Holzmann, a dog trainer, and hired him to develop a method of training. That year they graduated their first two graduates, Vito Vero and Arthur Torgersen. The original office was located in Forest Hills, Queens. The space was limited and resources were scarce. ● In the late 1940s, the present Smithtown, N.Y., property was purchased. In 1949 the name was changed to Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. There was a kennel, but there were no residential facilities for the students. The students were put up in rooming houses in the local area. Mr. Holzmann trained the dogs in groups of six to eight (which we call strings), and at that time it was estimated to cost between $3,000-$4,000 to train a string of dogs. ● In the 1960s, under the direction of two English trainers, the Foundation combined a blend of English and American techniques which we continue to use today. Also, at that time they began the breeding program with Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. In fact, many of the guide dogs that work today are descendants of those original dog. ● Today, the Guide Dog Foundation maintains its training campus in Smithtown on the original property, which is about 40 miles east of New York City. It is easily accessible to all modes of transportation. The campus consists of administrative offices,
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  • 88. 88 Programs overview ● A 12-day in-residence training program at our Smithtown, NY campus teaches our students the skills and commands needed to foster a successful working team with a guide dog. During the training program, blind students first learn about the commands the dog knows. Access laws, public awareness and other issues also are covered during the 25-day program. They will have begun to master all of the techniques they need to be successful—from finding the checkout counter at a store, to maneuvering through a crowded train station, to passing through a revolving door. The team can travel confidently and independently on suburban routes or city streets, during the day or at night, alone or in rush hour. ● As some of our most passionate volunteers, puppy raiser families provide the loving homes that care for our Foundation puppies until the dogs are old enough to enter our training programs. Puppy raisers take home a 7-week-old puppy and care for it until it is between 14 and 18 months old. They housebreak the puppy, socialize it in different environments, teach it good house
  • 89. 89 Campus Tour● The Guide Dog Foundation's eight-acre campus is located on East Jericho Turnpike/Middle Country Road in Smithtown, New York. (Smithtown is about 45 miles east of Manhattan.) The Foundation just completed a major campus expansion and renovation project – the largest in its 55-plus year history. ● Our breeding colony has over 100 dogs, the majority of which are Labrador Retrievers. ● The other breeds we use include: ● Golden Retrievers ● Standard Poodles ● Lab/Golden crosses ● German Shepherds ● Smooth Coat Collies ● These breeds tend to be smart, easy to train, more suitable for assistance dog work and, in some cases, are hypoallergenic(poodles). ● The Puppy Playground was donated by the Melville Rotary Club and the Michaels family in memory of Herbert Lloyd Michaels. Puppies need to be kept separate from older dogs until they have had all of their vaccinations. Guide dog puppies need to have many different experiences, so they are not frightened by new things as adults. This playground ● The Puppy Nursery is a very popular place at the Foundation, especially when a dog is giving birth to her pups. The nursery and whelping areas are sanitized, and so access is restricted to certain members of the staff. Viewing windows allow staff and guests can check in on the future guide dogs and see how they are doing. We breed our puppies to maximize the traits important for guide dogs.
  • 90. 90 ● The Foundation's kennel houses about 100 dogs. It houses the dogs that are in for training as well as the puppies that are in for boarding. Volunteers come in every day of the week to exercise and socialize our dogs.
  • 91. 91 Canine enrichment & volunteering ● We all need an outlet to let off some steam....FREE RUN! These dogs were out on one of the campus' free runs getting a little exercise. To say they were fast is an understatement. Pictured running is a Yellow Lab, a Yellow Lab Golden mix and a Black Lab Golden Mix. ● A GDF volunteer shared the following with us: ● My experiences with the Guide Dog Foundation is very fruitful & pleasurable. I look forward to Tuesday @ The Training Center bathing all the dogs I can. There is a lot of wonderful people that I get in contact with. I feel very at home there & the staff is just wonderful including the trainers who I see often. I love all the dogs & feel a connection with a lot of them. ● I also love taking out the students on weekends, that gives me a euphoric feeling that I am helping someone who is comfortable with me & the students are so appreciative of what I am doing for them. The photo shows Kongs in the freezer, stuffed with mashed-up kibble. The dogs love playing with
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  • 98. 98 Guiding Eyes for the Blind Yorktown Heights, New York USA
  • 99. 99 About Us ● Founded in 1954, Guiding Eyes breeds, raises, and trains guide dogs and trains students to work with guide dogs that have been carefully selected to match their individual needs. Our training programs and life- long follow-up support are completely free of charge and are made possible through the generous support of individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations.
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  • 101. 101 Journey of a Guiding Eyes Dog
  • 102. 102 Breeding ● We strive to continually improve the genetic makeup of our dogs, by selecting the very best of all the dogs placed in our puppy raising program to join our breeding colony. Only the top 8 percent of our dogs will be candidates for the breeding colony. The traits sought by Guiding Eyes in a guide dog include the following: ● medium size (60 to 75 lb) ● healthy ● easy coat care ● calm, easy-to-handle by persons with minimal dog handling skills ● confident in all environments ● able to cope with the pressure of making decisions ● not distracted around other dogs ● raised to have good social manners ● The future genetic quality of our dogs is determined by the critically important choice of dogs kept as replacement breeders. ● These decisions have a profound effect on whether the temperament and health traits of our dogs continue to improve.
  • 103. 103 Breeder Evaluation ● One of Guiding Eyes’ most critical tasks is selecting the next generation of breeding dogs. This is why almost all of the puppies in the puppy raising program remain reproductively intact until after they return for their IFT. A number of considerations come into play when evaluating a dog as a breeder, including not only that specific dog’s health history and temperament, but also the health and temperament of all its littermates. ● Any dog selected as a breeder will meet minimum standards for each of the traits considered valuable in a guide dog, and will also contribute improvement in one or more traits so that the next generation is better than its predecessors. ● Once candidate breeders are identified, they remain at the Canine Development Center in Patterson, New York where they undergo extensive testing and evaluation. The Veterinary Department performs a comprehensive physical examination, including radiographs and other tests, on each dog. The Breeding Kennel staff plays a key role in gathering additional information on the temperament and trainability of potential breeders during their minimum two week stay. The dogs also undergo multiple brood/stud walks in the village of Brewster. ● Along with the assessment of each potential breeder, the dog’s siblings in the training program are also monitored. The presence of health or behavioral issues in a sibling can be an indication that the potential breeder may carry genetic susceptibilities that could produce undesirable traits in future offspring. ● Dogs that do not meet the high criteria for breeding, but are suitable for guide dog work, are returned to training. The candidate breeders remaining in the evaluation process leave the kennel and are placed temporarily with individuals or families in a home environment (either sitters or potential fosters). When a dog officially achieves Breeder status, the dog
  • 104. 104 PROCESS FOR BREED EVALUATION ● Only one-third of the dogs selected for breeding evaluation actually become Guiding Eyes breeders. There are multiple steps in the process, which takes approximately 4 months to complete. ● Identifying candidates Our database identifies possible breeding dog candidates, based on whether their data match specific health and temperament criteria. ● Verifying candidates to pre-screen DVDs from the quarterly puppy program W&T assessments are reviewed in advance of the dogs arriving for evaluation. ● Breed evaluation initial testing Dogs demonstrating consistency for the desired traits are scheduled for screening at the Canine Development Center (CDC), and undergo the same initial testing as the dogs destined for training. Those with the highest criteria for breeding are retained at the CDC for further observation, testing, and training. Some dogs not selected for pre-screening may still be evaluated for breeding on the day of the IFT test. ● Breed evaluation completion Littermates of dogs in breeding evaluation are observed through their 2nd month of training, to verify that the positive traits observed in the potential breeder are consistently present throughout the litter. This indicates that the breeder will produce the desired traits more consistently in its offspring. Once the evaluation of littermates is completed, a final decision is made about retaining a breed evaluation dog as a member of the breeding colony. Breed evaluation dogs that are not selected for breeding are moved to training. PLACEMENT OF BREED DOGS ● During the breed evaluation period, when the dog is not needed in the CDC kennel, it will be placed with a foster sitter local to the CDC. The foster sitter may or may not receive permanent placement with a breed dog. Once the decision is made to make the dog part of the breeding colony, the dog will be placed with a foster family meeting a number of eligibility requirements. KEEPING IN TOUCH ● During breed evaluation: Your Region Manager will keep you updated approximately once a month while your dog is being evaluated for breeding. If you have any questions you should contact your Region Coordinator. ● During active breeding years: When your dog is placed with a foster family, your Region Manager will arrange an exchange of contact information (name, address, telephone number, and e- mail address if any) between you and the foster family. Before placement, the foster families agree to maintain contact with their dog’s raiser, so that raisers are welcome to inquire about their dog and share information on the dog’s progress over time. The Foster Agreement gives more details of the foster placement requirements. If you have any questions or concerns regarding foster placement, contact your Region Coordinator. A complimentary 8 x 10 portrait of your dog wearing a harness (without the handle) − a special designation of breeding status− will be sent to you (as well as to any official vet or food sponsors for your dog). You can order extra copies of the portrait through your Region Coordinator. For lowest cost, order the extra photos
  • 105. 105 Guide Dog Genetics ● Guiding Eyes collects extensive genetic information and data on all of its dogs. Data is entered into a powerful genetics tracking database, called Reldog (relational dog database). This amazing program is the result of 15 years effort by Guiding Eyes staff and volunteer programmer Kevin Keymer from Minnesota. The program is now being modified by Guiding Eyes and another volunteer programmer, Steve Owen, to be available at no cost to organizations training service and guide dogs throughout the world. ● The database contains health and temperament measurements on every Guiding Eyes dog, and can be sorted by litter as well as sire and/or dam. These summaries and tabulations are recalculated daily by Reldog for all dogs in the database in a matter of minutes. ● Reldog also incorporates a very powerful genetics selection tool called Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs), based on software programs developed by the USDA for animal breeders. We are grateful to Dr. Eldin Leighton, Genetics Director at The Seeing Eye, and Dr. Tom Famula at University of California, Davis Campus, for helping us make use of EBVs in Reldog and at Guiding Eyes. ● EBVs for a particular temperament or health trait are calculated for each individual dog, based on its own data and that of every dog related to it. Annual health surveys on a majority of all living Guiding Eyes dogs help make our health data accurate. We use the EBVs to provide a relative ranking of the likelihood of producing a particular temperament or health trait for each dog. ● We currently have EBVs for important health traits found in Labrador Retrievers, including skin allergies, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and mast cell cancer. We hope to have an EBV for soft trachea in the near future. ● Temperament EBVs have been a bit more elusive and are still a subject of research and development for Guiding Eyes. Promising research projects are underway in collaboration with four other guide and service dog organizations in the US, and Dr. James Serpell at the University of Pennsylvania. ● Each month, we review temperament and health summary data on all intact (not neutered) puppies in the puppy-raising program. Those puppies ranking the most favorable for EBVs and individual health and temperament histories are put on “Breed Watch”. Many dogs can be on Breed Watch, but only a few will eventually join the Guiding Eyes breeding pool. ● As the dogs mature, and we collect more data, an increasingly accurate picture emerges of the
  • 106. 106 Breeding Technology ● In 1993, Guiding Eyes became the first guide dog school in North America to establish a state-of-the-art reproduction program with cryogenics and transcervical insemination. Through a grant from the Minnesota Guide Dog Breeding Center, Guiding Eyes was able to purchase equipment and obtain training from Dr. Marion Wilson in New Zealand, who developed transcervical insemination procedure for the dog. ● In transcervical insemination, the semen is deposited directly into the uterus using an endoscopic camera and fiberoptic equipment. This procedure is accomplished in minutes and, like a natural mating, is done without the need for surgery or anesthesia. ● Cryogenics is the term for freezing and storing semen so that it can be used later for fertilization. The semen is collected while the studs are young and at their breeding peak. Each stud has 50 to 300 frozen “straws” of semen kept in storage tanks filled with liquid nitrogen, maintaining them at -200 degrees Celsius (-320 degrees Fahrenheit). This stockpile of frozen semen safeguards the genetic lines of Guiding Eyes’ breeding colony, and allows us to collaborate with other guide dog schools. ● The Guiding Eyes reproduction lab has trained − free of charge − other guide dog schools from around the world, and has made semen from quality dogs easily accessible so that others can improve their breeding colonies. Frozen semen can be shipped across the country, as well as around the world. Guiding Eyes has shipped semen as far away as Australia. ● The breeding kennel at the CDC manages the reproduction processes for the Guiding Eyes Breeding Colony, resulting in the conception of over 500 world- class guide dog puppies each year. Breeders, dogs undergoing evaluation as possible breeders, and
  • 107. 107 Canine Development Center (CDC) ● The Canine Development Center (CDC) is where potential Guiding Eyes for the Blind (Guiding Eyes) guide dogs get their start − literally! This is an exciting place where the first steps are taken toward producing a successful guide dog team: breeding, birthing, socializing, screening, and placing high-potential puppies in loving, nurturing puppy-raising homes. ● Guiding Eyes has been breeding their own dogs since the mid-1960s, to ensure a reliable resource of quality dogs to train as guide dogs. Prior to that time, extensive time and effort was invested in searching shelters and other sources for adult dogs and puppies; unfortunately, the majority of these dogs eventually failed to meet the rigorous standards required of guide dogs. Our Canine Development Center is at the leading edge of advances in canine genetics, breeding technology, and behavioral development. Over many generations of selective breeding, Guiding Eyes has maximized the qualities required for a working guide dog and minimized health problems that could disrupt or shorten a guide dog’s working years. ● Approximately half of the 500 puppies bred each year will become working guide dogs. However, every special puppy goes on to find his or her place in the world − as a guide dog, another type of service dog such as a detection dog, or a loving pet in a carefully-screened home. ● The Puppy Raising Program, in existence almost as long as Guiding Eyes itself, is one of the most well-developed programs of its kind. Puppy raisers receive comprehensive training before being matched with a puppy that best suits their needs and abilities. Raisers are supported with regular classes that emphasize relationship-based puppy rearing techniques, allowing them to bring their pup to its fullest potential. ● To fulfill our mission the CDC focuses on breeding and raising the best quality guide dog candidates to supply our training program. In addition, guide and service dog schools throughout the world benefit from Guiding Eyes’ outreach efforts that provide numerous puppies, adult dogs,
  • 108. 108 Puppy Raising and In For Training ● Our network of puppy raisers includes a broad spectrum of caring individuals from various walks of life. ● They include couples, families with children, young adults and senior citizens. Some already have pets of their own. ● Raisers live in urban, suburban, and rural areas – and in apartments, town- homes, and single family homes. ● Sixty percent of our raisers are repeat raisers – meaning they have raised more than one Guiding Eyes puppy. ● We are extremely proud that so many raisers enjoy our program enough to renew their commitment to raise another puppy. A few have raised as many as 35 puppies! There are 5 possible outcomes from the IFT test: ● Training: Your dog passed the IFT screening test and will stay at the Training School. Medical screening and assignment to an instructor will occur over the next few weeks. ● Breeder evaluation: Exceptional qualities were identified and your dog will stay at the CDC Breeding kennel for medical screening and further temperament evaluations. ● Further evaluation: Additional temperament evaluations will be done at the CDC or Training School to determine the best career path for your dog. Your Region Manager will be in touch as soon as more information is available. Sometimes dogs with special training needs are placed with another guide dog/service dog school. Some dogs are retained in the Guiding Eyes training program as dogs for clients with Special Needs. ● Release/alternate career: Your dog has temperament and/or health issues that will prevent your dog from becoming a guide dog. Your dog may be suited for an alternative career such as detection work or as a cherished family pet (see Public Adoption.) ● Puppy program: Occasionally there are too many dogs available for training, and raisers are asked if they can keep their dog for an additional month or so until the next group of instructors is available. This option allows the dog to stay in a familiar environment and avoids the stresses of lengthy, non-productive kennel time. Alternately, some dogs are deemed to be potentially
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  • 110. 110 Kennel Enrichment ● Kennel enrichment is the practice of providing animals under managed care with environmental stimuli. This practice ensures a positive, enjoyable kennel experience for the dogs. Any novel stimulus which evokes an animal’s interest can be considered enriching: ● Scents, visual movement, natural and artificial objects ● Novel food and different methods of preparing food (such as puzzles and food toys) ● Different textures and surfaces ● Guiding Eyes has an extensive Kennel Enrichment Program. Our nurturing staff and volunteers provide a healthy combination of exercise and rest to stimulate our dogs’ minds. Our program is designed to provide an inviting kennel environment – enhancing the dogs’ lives and preventing stress during this important training period. ● Kennel volunteers will spend the majority of their time cleaning the kennels and equipment and assisting the staff in other duties. Volunteers are offered the opportunity to specialize in one particular enrichment area and will receive additional training to perform the required tasks for that area.
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  • 112. 112 Kennel Enrichment K9 COMPANION ● Staff or volunteers spend quality alone time with a dog in his or her run. Sitting in a low beach chair, they can groom, use toys or simply cuddle with the dog. This creates a more relaxing atmosphere where the dog is not being asked to do anything except be a dog. This exercise also helps the dog view his/her run as a positive environment. MASSAGE ● We use massage therapy to enhance the health and well-being of our very special dogs. Staff and volunteers spend 15 minutes massaging a dog in our specially designed massage room equipped with ambient lighting, aroma therapy, soothing music and plush dog beds. Massage helps the dogs relax and become more comfortable being touched. WALKING ● Staff or volunteers take retired or released dogs on leisurely walks along the campus nature path. These walks provide the dogs with time away from the kennel to relax and unwind outdoors. Dog walking volunteers must have experience handling and walking large dogs. GROOMING ● Staff or volunteers brush, bathe and dry select dogs in our washing facility. Dog bathers must be able to sit, stand and bend for at least 30 minutes at a time. PLAYTIME ● Volunteers can participate in playtime once they have volunteered at our campus in an alternate position and have been approved by the staff. Playtime volunteers take individual dogs into one of our outdoor community runs. Here the dogs have various toys to play with, including pools and ice toys in the summer months. Volunteers also have the option to use our turf Planet Dog run where the dogs can stretch their legs, play a game of fetch or enjoy one on one interaction in an outdoor environment. ● All potential volunteers must complete a volunteer application and undergo a screening, training and
  • 113. 113 Guide Dog Training ● After leaving their puppy raisers, dogs are assigned to a guide dog instructor, who will develop a relationship with the dog through play, obedience, and general time together. The instructor will work with each dog for at least 5 months. Training is a continuous process that includes teaching the dog the concepts of guiding in small steps, and building upon previous lessons with hundreds of repetitions in a great variety of situations. Eventually, the dog understands and is comfortable with all aspects of guide work. A guide dog is ready for placement with a blind partner when the dog responds reliably and safely to all work situations it will encounter while guiding. ● Although training is a continuous process, it can logically be thought of in four phases, with each dog working at its own pace. The first phase consists of the guide dog learning the basics of forward, halt, and hup-up (work in a straight line while avoiding obstacles and resuming the original direction). The training in Phase I occurs at the Training School and surrounding neighborhoods. ● In Phase II, the trainers reinforce the lessons of Phase I in Peekskill, NY − a moderate- size town with more distractions and unusual underfootings. Trainers also address any residual behavioral problems (such as animal distraction or scavenging for food). ● In Phase III, the dogs are asked to perform learned tasks on their own initiative, without assistance of the trainer. Praise and hundreds of repetition in different situations is required before the dog really understands what is expected and can respond reliably to the cues provided. ● In Phase IV, the dogs fine-tune their skills and apply their knowledge to new situations in larger cities and more distracting environments. In this final phase, the dogs learn
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  • 115. 115 Training Programs and Client matching Guiding Eyes has four training programs designed to meet the varied needs of guide dog users: ● Residential 26-Day Training Program ● Special Needs Program ● ACTION (Accelerated Client Training Option) ● Home Training Program Matches take into account many criteria, including: ● the student’s typical walking speed ● the amount of pull that the dog exerts on the harness handle ● the dog’s comfort level and confidence in the environment in which it will need to work ● the working personalities of both the student and dog, including the amount and type of praise and support the student can provide, the patience of the student and the dog, and the level of firmness and consistency needed by the dog to maintain its work pattern ● the physical match between the student’s height and the dog’s size ● breed requests Guiding Eyes gathers as much information about the student as possible during the application process and in the first few days in training. This information assists instructors and class supervisors in making tentative matches between the students and the guide
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  • 124. 124 Guide Dogs for the Blind San Rafael, California Boring, Oregon
  • 125. 125 About Us In the beginning... ● It all began with a dream—the dream of creating the first guide dog training school on the West Coast. It was a dream shared by Lois Merrihew and Don Donaldson, who volunteered their efforts along with many others. They recognized the need to help wounded servicemen who would return from World War II without their sight. They believed in the potential of dogs to serve as guides for the blind. ● Our school was incorporated in May of 1942 and began instruction of students in a rented home in Los Gatos, California, south of San Jose. A German Shepherd named Blondie was one of the first dogs trained. Blondie had been rescued from a Pasadena dog pound. She was later paired with Sgt. Leonard Foulk, the first serviceman to graduate from the new school. Today... ● In 1947, the school moved to our present 11-acre location in San Rafael, California, 20 miles north of San Francisco. In October of 1995, we held the first graduation at our new campus in Boring, Oregon, 25 miles east of Portland. We have graduated more than 10,000 teams since our beginnings in 1942. ● Both campuses house students in exceptional dormitory facilities which include dining rooms, exercise rooms, libraries, computer rooms and social areas. Both are located near major metropolitan centers, providing graduated training from quiet rural areas to congested city streets and public transit. The dogs and puppies are cared for in meticulous kennels and state-of-the-art veterinary clinics. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retriever/Golden Retriever crosses are the breeds used. Professional staff and veterinarians nurture, groom, train and prepare the dogs for their futures as
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  • 127. 127 Historical Time line ● November 5, 1927: Dorothy Harrison Eustis introduced America to the concept of using dogs as guides for the blind with an article in The Saturday Evening Post. ● October 21, 1941: Lois Merrihew and Don Donaldson collaborate with D.M. Linnard, the owner of San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel, and the hotel's publicity director, A.S. Oko, to publicize the need for the school with an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Blondie, a German Shepherd rescued from the Pasadena Humane Society, is pictured in the article. She would later become the guide of Sgt. Leonard Foulk, the first serviceman to graduate from the school. ● December, 1941: Lois Merrihew and Don Donaldson visited Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco's Presidio to offer their services to the American Women's Voluntary Services (AWVS). The AWVS was instrumental in the founding of Guide Dogs for the Blind to aid blinded veterans. ● May 27, 1942: Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) was incorporated and the first board of directors appointed. AWVS National Representative Mrs. Ryer Nixon became the first board president, and AWVS San Francisco Chairperson Mrs. Nion Tucker joined her as a member. Don Donaldson was named director and Lois Merrihew, his assistant. The school began in a rented Victorian farm house called "Tilted Acres" in Los Gatos, California, with four donated German Shepherds. Nine students received training at this location. ● June 1, 1942: Graduation for Class 1. ● 1944: GDB moved to a home in Los Gatos. ● 1945: GDB collaborated with the California 4-H program to establish the GDB Puppy Raising Program. ● 1947: The California State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind was established by the State Legislature to enforce high standards of guide dog training through the licensing of all instructors in the state. Guide Dog Instructor Stewart Wiest, who had trained dogs through the Army K-9 Corps, received license #1. Lois Merrihew received license #2. Lois was also the second director of the school, after Don Donaldson retired. ● 1947: Board Chair Eloise Heller and volunteer Clarence Pfaffenberger established standards for Guide Dog breeds. Pfaffenberger volunteered for 21 years and is credited with formalizing the puppy testing, puppy raising and breeding programs. ● 1948: 11-acre campus in San Rafael, California is completed with capacity for eight students. ● 1949: The 100th team graduated. William F. Johns, former assistant director of the Army K-9 Corps, directed the school for the next 20 years. He also initiated the apprentice program for instructors. His own German Shepherd, Frank of Ledge Acres, became a breeding stock dog, and sired 162 puppies; 73 were
  • 128. 128 ● 1952: MoZelle Zimmer became chief puppy tester and continued her volunteer efforts for more than 30 years. ● 1958: Benny Larsen directed the school for 16 years. A former POW in WWII while in the Danish Marines, and later, head of Denmark's canine patrol services, he is credited for staff development, establishing in- home applicant visits and follow-up support services. ● 1962: Norah Hamilton Straus directed the Board for 15 years. She traveled throughout the country with instructors and dogs, and with internationally known jazz pianist George Shearing and his Guide Dog Lee, giving presentations and creating local fundraising committees. ● 1967: GDB celebrated its 25th Anniversary. The campus expanded to accommodate 16 students. ● 1981: With the addition of a second wing to the dormitory, GDB is the first in the nation to offer a dedicated retrain program. ● 1983: US Council of Guide Dog Schools membership. ● 1992: The 50th Anniversary is celebrated with a visit to the White House and President George Bush. ● 1992: An educational program for orientation and mobility specialists is premiered. ● 1995: The second campus in Boring, Oregon is unveiled. The first Oregon class graduated in October. ● 1995: International Guide Dog Federation membership (San Rafael, CA campus). ● 1997: Hawaii is opened for access to people using guide dogs through collaborative efforts including GDB. ● 1998: GDB hosted the first International Guide Dog Federation meeting to take place in North America ● 2000: International Guide Dog Federation membership (Boring, OR campus). ● 2001: Research and Development Director Michelle Pouliot unveiled the BEST program (Balanced Educational System of Training Guide Dogs). Pouliot is later credited with the GDB Wheelchair Program, as well as other innovations in training and harness design. ● September 11, 2001: Graduate Michael Hingson's guide Roselle led him from his office on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center to safety. ● 2002: GDB graduated the 10,000th team. ● 2002: 60th Anniversary celebrated with a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade® in Pasadena. ● 2002: Samsung Guide Dogs in South Korea becomes GDB's sister-school and collaborates in international breeding exchanges. ● 2004: The GDB Wheelchair Program offered dogs specially trained to assist GDB Alumni using motorized wheelchairs for mobility. ● 2004: GDB is the first in the nation to launch the K9 Buddy Program, introducing the Guide Dog Lifestyle to blind youth and their families. ● 2005: Creation of GDB Alumni Association, Nov. 14, 2005. ● 2005: White House visit with President George W. Bush to honor blinded veterans. ● 2006: First regional chapters of Guide Dogs' Alumni Association established.
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  • 130. 130 Sgt. Leonard Foulk, first serviceman to graduate, with Blondie. The groundbreaking at the San Rafael campus.
  • 131. 131 Sgt. Leonard Foulk, first serviceman to graduate, with Blondie. The groundbreaking at the San Rafael campus.
  • 132. 132 California Campus Oregon Campus
  • 133. 133 Guide Dog Breeding ● Our specialized breeding program was started in the late 1940s in an effort to ensure consistent production of dogs with desirable traits. Our dogs also offer enough variation within its respective breed to fill the myriad needs of our students, including: ● Being of a size and weight that are appropriate for working beside a person and riding public transportation ● The ability to live in a variety of climates, thanks to easily-cared-for double coats ● Labrador Retrievers have proven to have the most success worldwide as guides; at GDB, Labradors constitute the largest percentage of our breeding colony. We also have a smaller percentage of Golden Retrievers and we breed Lab/Golden crosses for use in our training program. The vast majority of our dogs are bred from our own specially selected stock, but a percentage are donated from other schools, through international programs, and other means.
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  • 135. 135 Puppy Raising ● Our puppy raising program is a life-changing and rewarding experience for our raisers, their families, and ultimately our graduates. No prior experience is necessary to become a puppy raiser. And we're here to help every step of the way... ● Our Puppy Raising program is in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. What to expect: ● You'll receive your puppy at approximately eight weeks old, and he/she will return for formal training between 13 and 15 months old. Puppy raisers are responsible for teaching their puppies good manners and basic obedience. You can have other pets in your home and if you are not able to commit to raising a puppy fulltime, there are still other ways to get involved with your local puppy club, such as puppy sitting. And, GDB's puppy raising program complements many FFA, 4H, home schooling, high school, and college programs. Guidance and support: ● Puppy raisers receive continuous support and guidance. They typically join local puppy raising clubs, where they gather with other GDB puppy raisers to share ideas and information, work on puppy training techniques, and participate in socialization outings. Puppy raisers are also invited to attend our
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  • 139. 139 Guide Dog Training 1 ● Once the grown puppies return to our campuses from their puppy raising homes, the dogs are ready to learn the tools of the trade. They discover how to become not just well- behaved, meticulously socialized dogs, but professionals! ● Now, they are about to embark on the career for which they've been preparing. For two to three months the dogs are taught by skilled instructors to safely guide someone through the complexities of pedestrian travel. Our Guide Dog Training program maximizes the use of positive reinforcement methods, including science based Clicker Training. What are the unique abilities of Guide Dogs? ● Our dogs are smart—very smart! In addition to learning how to lead a person safely around obstacles, Guide Dogs are also trained in "intelligence disobedience": if they are given an unsafe command, they are taught to not obey it (for example: refusing to step out into the street when there is oncoming traffic). Guide Dogs are also trained to have impeccable manners (for all those times they must visit places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, grocery stores and public transportation), and are capable of avoiding distractions (such as cats!). In addition, all Guide Dogs possess an eagerness to please and a willingness to work. They choose their profession!
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  • 141. 141 Guide Dog Training 2 Some of the skills Guide Dogs learn include: ● Leading a person in a straight line from point A to point B ● Stopping for all changes in elevation, including curbs and stairs ● Stopping for overhead obstacles, such as tree limbs ● Avoiding obstacles in their path Two things Guide Dogs can't do: ● Determine the route to a new destination ● Read traffic signals ● Guide Dogs take their cues and commands from their human partners; it's up to the person to determine the routes they take and if it is safe to cross a street. Through repetition, they may remember a routine course, but it is the blind person's job to know where they are at all times.
  • 142. 142 Guide Dog Training 3 What are GDB's methods of training? ● Our dogs are trained with positive reinforcement methods that use high value rewards of both food and praise. An abundance of rewards, including physical and verbal affection, builds motivation, confidence and produces a happy working Guide Dog. Positive Reinforcement methods strive to make the young dog successful and prevent them from making errors. In more advanced training, dogs are given the freedom to make errors. Instructors use verbal cues and collar cues to gain the desired response, which is followed by rewards. GDB's training employs innovative training methods such as: ● Treadmill workouts ● Clicker training ● General food rewards ● Treadmill training ● Intelligent Disobedience ● Emergency Responses for the handlers safety
  • 143. 143 Guide Dog Training 4 When is a dog paired with a blind person? ● .Once the dogs have completed their training and know how to guide, they are ready to enter what we call "class training." This is when a fully-trained dog is matched with a student enrolled in one of our residential classes. We are committed to pairing the right dog with the right person. Our extensive training ensures that the team is compatible in every area from communication styles to personalities. The team spends two weeks learning to work together in a variety of real-life situations. Graduation Day marks the end of class training and a new beginning for the team as they make their way in the world. It is a special day filled with a lot of love, as puppy raisers, graduates and Guide Dogs all take the stage to celebrate their achievements. What's life like for a working Guide Dog? ● What dog wouldn't envy the life of a Guide Dog? Guide Dogs get to go everywhere and do everything their partners do and they are showered with attention. From work and school, to shopping malls, restaurants and the hiking trail, Guide Dogs lead very active lives. When the harness is on, Guide Dogs are "all business" serious about their work, and focused on the safety of the team. When the harness comes off, however, it's play time! How long is a Guide Dog in service? ● Most Guide Dogs work until they are around 8-10 years old, but this varies with individual dogs and their lifestyles. After spending a life of devoted partnership, Guide Dogs deserve to spend their senior years in comfortable (and pampered!) retirement. They may remain with their partner as a pet, return to the home where they were raised, or be placed in a loving adoptive home. In all cases, they are honored and loved.
  • 144. 144 Kennel Program Overview ● On any given day, our kennels are buzzing with newborn puppies with their fuzzy faces, soulful brown eyes and wagging tails. When combining nature and nurture, our puppies have the best of both worlds. From their excellent lineage (our Breeding Program), to their nurtured environment when they enter the world (our Kennel Program), Guide Dog puppies can't help but get off to a good start. Our kennel staff welcomes approximately 800 pups into the world each year. Staff and volunteers ensure that all of their earliest needs are met, from health care and nutrition to socialization and human interaction. ● The dogs are all born into a warm and nurturing environment under the supervision of our professional staff 24 hours a day. Why round-the-clock attention? It allows for: ● Care and feeding of newborns ● Efficient administration of medications ● Oversight of veterinary treatment ● Already very used to human contact, our puppies begin formal socializing at 9 days old via our toddler socializing program, where they learn to enjoy humans in their personal space. At 6 weeks of age, after being weaned from Mom, they are gently introduced to the world by skilled puppy socialization volunteers. During their first daily outings they encounter all kinds of new things, like stairways, grates, and unusual objects. In addition to the pups, our kennels are full of the lively sounds and activities of many adult dogs: ● Guide Dogs in various stages of their formal training ● Dogs that are being boarded ● Breeding stock dogs ● Dogs awaiting placement in adoptive homes
  • 145. 145 Kennel Program Young Puppies ● Long before our puppies are even born, they have been receiving the utmost in care while they are in the womb. Pregnant female breeding stock dogs are brought to our California campus whelping kennel about a week before their litters of puppies are due (gestation for dogs is 63 days; "whelp" is the canine term for "birth"). To prepare for whelping, they are put in stalls that contain plastic wading pools lined with newspaper. The whelping kennel building is heated and cooled with an air exchange system that maintains clean air and an even temperature additionally the stalls are warmed with radiant heating coils in the floor. There are number of stalls equipped with closed-circuit cameras that allow the kennel staff to keep an eye on the expectant moms around the clock. ● When labor begins, the females start to "nest"—tearing the newspaper into small pieces and settling into the pools. During the whelp, the Kennel staff is present to monitor the labor and delivery and assist when needed. This assistance may involve: ● assessing fetal heart rates ● qualifying uterine contractions ● resuscitating newborn puppies ● clamping bleeding umbilical cords ● feeding females tired from a long whelp ● The newborn puppies are weighed daily for the first five to seven days of their lives to ensure they are gaining weight properly. If a puppy's growth is lagging, the pup may be bottle-fed or tube-fed with supplemented milk or formula. As a health precaution for the newborn puppies, only the staff members working in the whelping kennel that day are allowed to go into that kennel. ● The puppies spend their first three weeks in the wading pool with their mother and littermates to nurse. At 3 weeks of age, they graduate from the wading pool and are put on the floor on shredded newspaper; they start eating solid food and are slowly weaned. They
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  • 149. 149 Kennel Program Puppies How do we keep track of all the puppies? ● A shaved area on the shoulder and/or hip identifies each puppy after birth; this shaved area is used for identification until the pups are weaned. They eventually receive a microchip inserted under the skin by the shoulders. The microchip can be scanned by any veterinarian or rescue organization and will alert them to the fact that the dog is from GDB. Additionally they will have a collar with our information and a shorter unique number that is their ID number here a GDB. Prior to being placed in their puppy raising homes, each puppy is given a name; all littermates are given names that start with the same letter of the alphabet. When do the puppies meet the outside world? ● At 6 weeks of age the puppies are moved to a new kennel (called the puppy kennel) where they share stalls with their littermates. It is there that the pups are first introduced to the outside world. Volunteers known as puppy socializers expose them to strange, new objects, smells and situations, so they will gain confidence and experience. When the puppies are about 8 weeks old, they are ready to be placed with their raiser families living throughout the Western states.
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  • 151. 151 Kennel Program Enrichment What purposes does the Kennel Enrichment Program serve? ● The program provides varied opportunities for human/dog interaction with staff while the dogs are in the communal runs. We use agility equipment (such as tunnels and walk- over ramps) to allow the dogs successful experiences through non-training-related activities, improve their physical coordination and confidence, and heighten their body awareness. ● Our dogs have supervised access to a variety of toys (including interactive wall-mounted toys), and are introduced to different odors, sounds, and visual stimulation in the kennels. Stuffed Kongs and frozen treats serve as interactive goodies; spray-on scents give the dogs' noses new smells to explore; piped-in music serves to soothe and sound like home. ● Play structures (tunnels, barrels, plastic play houses, plastic baby pools) and crates or plastic "igloos" in runs create micro-environments for the dogs, giving them choices that can be either more stimulating or feel more secure for them than their basic kennel stalls. All are designed to be environmentally interesting and, in some cases, functional (i.e., grooming tables mounted over barrels in which the dogs can play). ● The enrichment program is designed to give dogs a chance
  • 152. 152 Kennel Program Veterinary Program ● Our veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians are there for the dogs throughout their lives, and are available by phone 24 hours a day for emergencies. From the time they are puppies receiving vaccinations, until they are working Guide Dogs in the field, our veterinarians ensure their continued health. The pups all receive their earliest care in our clinics and as they go into their puppy raising homes, our staff consults with the raisers' local veterinarians. Once back at our campuses as adolescents, the dogs all are reacquainted with our veterinary staff who do their check-ups during their formal guidework training. And when the dogs graduate as guides, our staff veterinarians consult with their peers throughout the United States and Canada where the dogs live and work. Some of the procedures our dogs and pups receive at our campus clinics include: ● Vaccinations ● Spay/Neuter surgeries ● Digital X-rays (to check their hips and joints) ● Ophthalmology exams ● Physical exams ● Dental prophylaxis, extractions and digital x-rays ● Endoscopy (to retrieve foreign objects and evaluate internal organs) ● Ultrasounds (to monitor the status of in-utero puppies, or to check a dog's heart and other organs) ● Electrocardiagrams (to check their hearts) ● On campus consultations from veterinary specialisits Radiology, Dermatology,
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  • 154. 154 Research and Development ● At Guide Dogs for the Blind, we are fortunate to have 60+ years of history that have contributed to the success of our programs. But, in order to stay relevant to the changing needs of our students and alumni, we are proud to be leaders in innovation as well. Research and Development Director Michele Pouliot and others among our professional staff continue to revolutionize the way we train our dogs, accommodate our students, and serve as a model for guide dog schools the world over. A few significant milestones of our Research and Development Program include: BEST: ● The creation of the BEST method (the Balanced Education System for Training Guide Dogs). The BEST method encompasses a myriad of practices designed to improve the ease of learning for our dogs as well as to protect the health and safety of our trainers. BEST consists of several kennel enrichment, socialization and training innovations, including: ● Treadmill Training - Dogs are gently introduced to the mechanics of guiding in harness while walking on a treadmill. Our dogs receive three treadmill sessions before they begin their regular training workouts. The dogs really enjoy getting on the treadmills, and the instructors find it much easier to cue the dogs into position after they've had the treadmill exposure. ● Pattern Training This method of early training introduces the dogs to desired behaviors repeatedly so they begin to understand what is expected of them. The training is geared to build the dog's confidence by focusing on what the dog does right. With this very affirmative, low-key introduction to guidework, the dogs become very confident, and are eager to show off their newfound skills! ● Food Reward Programs Food rewards may be used as a positive reinforcement method to counter undesirable behaviors. When the dog exhibits an undesirable behavior, it is immediately asked to respond positively to another command for which
  • 155. 155 Research and Development The Guide Dog Wheelchair Program: ● Guide Dogs are specially trained to work alongside a motorized wheelchair. Students using wheelchairs are taught the mechanics of the wheelchair/Guide Dog combination. This program is currently available only to Guide Dogs Alumni. Guide Dogs Custom Needs Program: ● Guide Dogs consistently explores creative solutions to guidework challenges such as the use of prosthetic limbs, the use of support canes, etc. Harness Design Innovations: ● Alternative harness designs have been developed to be less restrictive to the dogs, as well as more ergonomic and user-friendly to the handlers. Education and Advocacy: ● Development of guidelines, advice and reference material for our graduates when dealing with free-roaming dogs and dog attacks; rehabilitative techniques for guides that have been attacked. Continuous Quality Improvement: ● Evaluation and updates to our puppy raising, breeding and training programs.
  • 156. 156 Post Graduate Support ● Guide Dogs is dedicated to expanding the web of support for blind people and their guides in their communities. Through strong connections with local veterinarians, puppy raising clubs, agencies and organizations, a powerful network is at the ready to offer support and camaraderie. GDB's extensive follow- up program is the most comprehensive of its kind, including everything from phone consultation, personal home visits, education, advocacy, and networking. ● Our commitment continues through the working life of the dogs, their retirement and beyond. ● All alumni are offered annual visits in their homes. ● Our professionally certified instructors are stationed across the United States to provide in-home assessment and assistance to our alumni. We also offer telephone counseling for dog management, veterinary questions, or mobility concerns. ● We have a professional peer counselor on staff that is available for consultation on emotional issues, such as family adjustment or a dog's retirement. ● The Veterinary Financial Assistance Program ensures that all dogs receive the quality health care they deserve; financial assistance is available when needed to reimburse alumni for some of the cost of veterinary care. Staff veterinarians are always available for consultations with local veterinarians. ● We provide access and discrimination assistance upon request, such as information regarding pertinent laws and penal codes to individuals or businesses to prevent denial of access or other discrimination against Guide Dog users.
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  • 163. 163 Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind Manotick, Ontario Canada
  • 164. 164 About Us ● Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind (CGDB) is a national, non-profit, registered, charitable organization that was founded in 1984. The mission statement is: ● "To assist visually-impaired Canadians with their mobility by providing and training them in the use of professionally trained Guide Dogs." ● Initially, the Centre was housed in rental properties and in 1987 the building of the current National Training Centre was completed just outside of Manotick, Ontario (16 miles south of Ottawa). The Training Centre is situated on 9 acres and includes a kennel that can house 30 dogs. The main house has accommodation for eight students and administration offices.
  • 165. 165 Successes to Date ● 1984 First Guide Dog Team graduated in July. ● 1985 CGDB becomes the first Guide Dog school to receive provincial accreditation within the Blind Persons' Rights Act of Ontario. ● 1986 First litter of puppies born in CGDB breeding program. ● 1987 100th puppy placed on Puppy Walking program. ● Began construction of Training Centre in Manotick. ● 1988 National Training Centre officially opened. ● 1989 Established as a charter member of the International Federation of Guide Dog Schools for the Blind. ● First Canadian obtained certification as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor under internationally recognized training program (after completing the 3-year apprentice program). ● 1990 100th Guide Dog team graduated in June. ● 21st Litter of Pups born in CGDB breeding program. ● 1991 Second Canadian obtained certification as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor under internationally recognized training program. ● 1992 Passed on-site inspection by IFGDSB. ● Opened B.C. Branch office in Richmond, B.C. ● 1993 Third and Fourth Canadians obtained certification as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor under internationally recognized training program. ● 200th Guide Dog team graduated. ● 1994 10th Anniversary of Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, marked by a weekend celebration. ● 1995 Fifth and Sixth Canadians obtained certification as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor under internationally recognized training program. ● 1996 300th Guide Dog team graduated in November. ● 1997 Began establishing fundraising Chapters across Canada. ● 1998 Seventh and Eighth Canadians obtained certification as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor under internationally recognized training program. ● 1999 400th Guide Dog team graduated in August. ● 2001 1000th Pup placed on the Puppy Walking Program. ● 2003 500th Guide Dog team graduated. ● 2004 20th Anniversary of Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind.
  • 166. 166 Puppy Walking ● Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind places puppies at approximately 7 weeks of age with foster families called "puppy walkers" who raise the pups for 12 to 18 months. The Puppy Walkers socialize the puppies, which are mainly golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers, to as many different, everyday environments as possible. The socialization begins in the home and gradually advances to quiet residential areas and slowly works up to restaurants, shopping malls, public transit, elevators and so on. This program is supervised by a Puppy Walking Coordinator from Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind. ● The first formative year is of vital importance in the temperamental and physical growth of a young dog and all activities with a puppy should be directed to the development of habits and characteristics that form the basis of a Guide Dog. ● The puppy stays with the family until they are between twelve and eighteen months of age, after which the pup begins its formal training at the Training Centre with a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor.
  • 167. 167 A working Guide Dog provides mobility and independence to the visually- impaired user. ● The Guide Dog does not have any unusual gifts or powers. The dog does not "watch" for stop lights to turn green, but rather waits for a change in traffic direction. The animal has been taught to respond to commands from the owner, such as "Forward", "Left", "Right" and "Straight on", and will only disregard a command when it could lead to a dangerous situation for the Guide Dog team. ● Guide dogs in general can be recognized by a harness and a handle which is held in the owner's left hand. Guide dogs from Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind wear a white harness. ● Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind offers Guide Dog training as well as transportation to and from the Training Centre, room and board while the client is on class, for the symbolic cost of $1. The client is responsible for the care, feeding and veterinary costs of their
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  • 171. 171 The Mira Foundation Inc Saint Madeleine, Quebec Canada
  • 172. 172 About us ● On 21 octobre 1981, Éric St-Pierre proudly presented two blind individuals with the first two guide dogs trained in Quebec. In so doing, he began a charitable endeavour completely dedicated to helping the handicapped. His first order of business was to ensure that both users and partners would be willing participants as he sought to establish both a viable range of services and funding to provide dogs free of charge. ● In 1991, MIRA creates a guide-dog program for blind youngsters. Since that time, MIRA has been the only school in the world to provide guide dogs to blind individuals under 15, having given more than 85 guide dogs to young teenagers in Quebec, Ontario, the Maritime Provinces, France and Mexico. ● In the beginning, MIRA trained mostly with Labradors and Bernese Mountain dogs. In 1991, Éric St-Pierre developed a breed—the Labernese (a cross between the Labrador and the Bernese Mountain dog)—that was to become the first ● In 1992, MIRA continues in an innovative vein and explores how a service dog could be trained to help children with multiple disabilities and individuals with physical handicaps. MIRA has since expanded its programs by providing service dogs to such individuals. ● In 2003, MIRA has put in place a research program to help children afflicted with pervasive development disorders (PDD) such as autism. To date, 92 dogs have been assigned to this program. ● In 2006, MIRA became member of the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF).
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  • 174. 174 ● MIRA owns a 49,140 square meters lot on which five buildings stand—a housing facility to accommodate 10 guests at a time during a month in the guide dogs program; another housing facility to accommodate 10 guests at a time during a 21-day period in the service dogs program; a canine maternity ward for gravid females with a production capacity of 500 puppies per year; a veterinary clinic equipped with high-tech technology instruments, an examination room, an operating room and an X-Ray room, a kennel able to board 100 dogs in training. The buildings and grounds are also used for training dogs. ● Since its founding in 1981, MIRA has given away over 2,000 guide and service dogs. ● The cost of a guide or service dog is $ 30,000 and each dog is given free of charge. MIRA does not receive any government funds, its financing depends ● At MIRA, we subscribe to a principle of physical equality. Namely, we believe that anything that is accessible to the public at large should be accessible to handicapped individuals. Our work consists in helping individuals with one or many disabilities to adapt to life with these disabilities. ● We concentrate our efforts on improving the functional abilities of individuals, in particular in regard to mobility and orientation, so that they can get around freely in their living environment.
  • 175. 175 Guide dog for the blind youth ● Since 1990, with guide dogs being made available to blind youngsters, a great step forward has been taken in the area of orientation, mobility, integration, organization of guide dog services and social inclusion. ● It is important to emphasize the major contribution that a guide dog makes to a youngsters’ social development. As one of the parents bluntly stated, “It’s easier to hook up when you have a guide dog.” Guide dogs help the kids to interact socially and avoid isolation. Finally, the dog’s contribution to the youngsters’ emotional life appears to be important, but this remains to be demonstrated conclusively. ● The youth class, like the adult program, lasts 30 days. The youngsters are housed on site. Average class size is six. ● During the four weeks of their stay, the youngsters get to know their animal and learn to interact with it. Gradually, they assimilate the skills needed to work with a dog and orient themselves in a regulated outdoor environment, such as the downtown area of a densely populated city with significant automobile traffic ● When the class is over, with their guide dogs in tow, the kids return to their daily activities—family activities, orientation and mobility work, and school. The youngsters are the sole users of their guide dogs; they have worked very hard to earn this right. Immediately following the class, the training staff monitor and provide guidance to the kids as they put what they’ve learned in class into practice. Subsequently, follow-up can be according to a regular schedule or
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  • 185. We are all Connected