When did the Guide Dog movement start in Australia?
It was established in Perth in 1951 by volunteers, with the support of Apex Australia. There are now independent Guide Dog organisations providing services in all states and territories, and all affiliated under the Guide Dogs Australia banner. Guide Dogs Queensland was formed in 1960 and incorporated in 1965. Services originally started in Queensland under the umbrella of the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia.
Do you charge for your services and equipment?
No, all services are provided free of charge to all Queenslanders who are blind and vision impaired.
Do you receive any Government funding?
Yes, Guide Dogs Queensland receives less than seven per cent in Government funding for some specific fee-for-service Rehabilitation programs in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. However, we receive no funding for our Guide Dogs or for services offered in regional and rural Queensland.
How long does it take to train a Guide Dog?
Each dog spends 12 to 15 months in the Puppy Development Program being raised by a volunteer Puppy Raiser. This is followed by 20 weeks of intensive training with a Guide Dog Trainer. The dog is then handed over to a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor who identifies a suitable client who is blind or has low vision. The instructor works with the Guide Dog and its new handler to ensure they can travel together safely and independently. This 'team' training takes about three weeks followed by more training in the home environment. The whole process from birth to harness takes about two years. Click here to learn more about being a Puppy Raiser.
Where do we source Guide Dogs?
Guide Dogs Queensland has its own breeding colony, breeds between 80-120 pups each year. We also source bloodlines and frozen straws from Stud Dogs from renowned Guide Dog schools in Australia and around the world.
What happens to dogs that are unsuitable as Guide Dogs?
Dogs that fail to meet the standard are withdrawn from the program and re-classified for alternative careers, or re-homed with suitable applicants as much-loved pets. The dogs that don’t make it may go on to new careers as our own Guide Dogs-in-training (Public Relations); detector dogs; or companion dogs for children and adults with special needs. We are always looking for people who are interested in re-homing our Guide Dogs who don’t make it. For more information about our Rehomed Dogs please contact Community Relations and Rehoming Coordinator Nicci Cahill on Ph:(07) 3500 9077or email email@example.com.
What is the average working life of a Guide Dog?
Guide Dogs usually begin work with their handler at about 20 months old, with a well-earned retirement about 8 to 10 years later. Upon retirement, a Guide Dog can remain with the client as a pet or live with a family member. If these options are not available, GDQ finds a loving and suitable home through its Guide Dog re-homing program.
In this section
- Guide Dogs
- Freecall 1800 810 122
- Guide Dogs Shop
- 1800 007 460
- Head Office
Guide Dogs Queensland
Breeding and Training Centre
1978 Gympie Rd
Bald Hills, Qld, 4036