Today is National Seeing Eye Dog Day

Posted on: January 29th, 2017 by Barbara Denzer No Comments

It’s possible you’ve never seen a Seeing Eye Dog but they’re very important to visually impaired or blind people. It takes several years of training at special schools for a dog to learn to be a Seeing Eye Dog. Expert dog trainers to teach a dog the intricate jobs they will have to do for a person that can’t see. To qualify to be a guide dog for a blind person a dog must be smart, calm, able to focus on a task and incredibly loyal and patient. The dog breeds that are most likely to fit these qualifications are Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds or Labs.

Once a dog is fully trained he’s matched to a person. Then, it takes many months of training together before they are released to be on their own. The dog’s job is to help their partner to be independent, mobile and confident. The dogs help their partner go on walks, go shopping, go to work and many other things that help them “see” the world through their dog.  For instance, the dogs have learned how to stop at corners, wait for traffic lights or signals that tell when it’s OK to walk across the street.

When they are working, the dogs wear a harness with a special kind of handle that is easy for the person to hold on to. Once the harness is taken off, the dog knows his “work day” is over and he’s just like any other dog, he loves to play, fetch and have fun.  If you want to learn more about how they train these dogs, go to  They have over 16,000 guide dog teams in North America. If you keep your eyes open, you may see one!

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