Working with a Guide Dog
As well as training our Guide Dogs, we also train people.
Before taking on a Guide Dog, clients must be able to use a Long Cane and have received Orientation and Mobility training (O&M). Long Cane and O&M programs will help build your confidence to move independently, as well as provide useful knowledge of your home area and routes you need to travel. Such skills will make training with a Guide Dog considerably easier.
This phase requires commitment and a great deal of courage to overcome the fear and uncertainty of placing your trust in the ability of a dog to guide you. However, thanks to the experience, skill and understanding of our Guide Dog Mobility Instructors (GDMI) it’s a challenge many Queenslanders, of all ages, who are blind and vision impaired, have taken on with great success.
Our Guide Dogs are selected to carefully match each client's lifestyle and travel needs.
Our Guide Dogs, and their training, like all of our services, are provided to Queenslanders free of charge.
After an initial enquiry, application and early assessment is completed, the actual matching process will begin by looking at a client’s mobility requirements, environment, and physical ability. This will take place in either a short residential program at our Client Residence in Bald Hills, or as a home visit for our more experienced Guide Dog Users.
During this time, clients will be given the opportunity to meet and walk with Guide Dogs that our GDMIs believe may best suit.
Once matched, training as a working team will begin and includes an intensive residential program, at Bald Hills, where the client will develop skills to handle the Guide Dog in a wide range of situations that may be encountered when working and socially.
Much of the training takes place outdoors in different environments, and the client will learn how to start, stop, and change speed and direction with the Guide Dog. Together, the bond and trust builds, and the working team learns how to best to employ its training to avoid obstacles; cross roads; navigate routes; find destinations and use public transport, safely and independently.
Training also includes learning how to best care for the Guide Dog, in and out of harness, such as grooming, diet, and providing plenty of playtime and exercise.
The final training process with a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor takes up to a month, including the residential program at Bald Hills and training in their home and community.
You can read more about our Guide Dogs in this section or if you'd like to talk to someone in our Guide Services Department please call 07 3500 9043.
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