Guide Dog Training
At the start of the Guide Dog training program, each dog is allocated to a trainer who spends the first few weeks bonding and developing the dog’s response to a number of commands, instructions and prompts.
In the beginning, most of the dog’s training takes place on site at the Bald Hills Breeding and Training Centre. From around week three, when the dog is ready to undertake its first training walk in harness, much of its training is done off site in areas such as residential neighbourhoods, rural and city locations, shopping malls, and rail and bus stations.
Guide Dogs Queensland’s Holistic Training method is a reward-based process that makes the training experience positive, pleasant and rewarding for the dog.
Eventually the Guide Dog will learn to:
- Respond to the handler’s instructions;
- Locate safe road crossing points and stop at kerbs;
- Cross roads straight;
- Avoid stationary obstacles such as street furniture;
- Avoid height obstacles such as overhangs;
- Avoid obstacles such as pedestrians, prams, trolleys and bicycles; and
- Locate objects and destinations.
Despite the hard work involved, Guide Dogs are intelligent and talented dogs that love to work, receive praise and carry out their role as Guide Dogs.
When the dog consistently performs its work safely and effectively it is assessed as being ready for allocating to a person who is legally blind. This usually occurs when the dog is around 20 to 24 months of age.
The working life of a Guide Dog
Our Guide Dogs will usually work for eight to 10 years before being retired.
Upon retirement, the Guide Dog Client has the option of keeping the dog or having their dog stay with a family member. If the Guide Dog can not stay with its client, than a loving and suitable home will be sourced, through our re-homing program.
A person can have up to four or five Guide Dogs in their lifetime.
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