Guide Dog Training
A Guide Dog has the extraordinary task of helping someone who is blind or vision impaired navigate around obstacles and safely move from one location to another.
At the start of the Guide Dog training program, each dog is allocated to a trainer who spends the first few weeks developing the dog’s response to a number of commands, instructions and prompts.
Our Guide Dogs 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 who love to 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.
For further information on our Guide Dogs and their training click here to download our fact sheet.
Each Guide Dog team has a very special bond. The extraordinary relationship between a Guide Dog and their handler is as much about love, friendship and trust as it is about independence and mobility.
Guide Dogs that successfully complete our training program are matched with a potential handler. The teams are matched based on the person’s lifestyle and needs by our Orientation and Mobility Instructors.
After the teams have been matched, they continue to train together for several weeks to learn how to travel together. Once the training has been completed, handlers are responsible for the care and well being of their Guide Dog.
For further information on our Guide Dogs click here to download our frequently asked questions.
Rehoming a Guide Dog
Due to Guide Dogs Queensland’s commitment to producing quality Guide Dogs, our dogs are continuously assessed throughout the training process to determine suitability to the guiding role.
Naturally, not every dog fulfils its destiny of becoming a Guide Dog due to unavoidable factors including health and temperament. We are constantly welcoming caring families or individuals to rehome retired and re-classified dogs.
Guide Dogs Queensland will reconsider placing dogs with a days drive of Bald Hills. Any travel costs will be at the expense of the adoptee.
Our waiting list is open with up to 6-12 months wait. Please email [email protected] if you would like more information.
Guide Dog Access and Etiquette
Guide Dogs provide Queenslanders who are vision impaired with a safe means of independent travel. Guide Dogs and Guide Dog Users’ Right to enter public places – including shops, hotels, motels, restaurants, as well as taxis, buses and trains, are protected by law.
The following legislation covers rights of a Guide Dog and its user:
- The Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 provides legal access for persons who require the aid of a Guide Dog to enter public places and public passenger vehicles.
- The Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 also sets out the rights and responsibilities of Guide Dog training institutions, trainers, and person in charge of public places and public passenger vehicles.
- The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 applies to Queensland residents and prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, including those who use a Guide Dog.
- The Building Units and Group Titles Act 1980. Section 12 of this Act allows the owner or occupier of a strata lot to keep a Guide Dog and overrides by-laws that prohibit dogs.
The working partnership of a Guide Dog and client is inspiring to see, but it is the result of intensive training for both the person and the Guide Dog. Though it’s natural for people especially children to want to pat, praise or meet the Guide Dog, you could be endangering the safety of the team by approaching the team.
For more information on access and etiquette, click here to download our factsheet.