Every year, the last Wednesday in April is set as International Guide Dog Day
This is a day to celebrate the important role of guide dogs that help the blind and visually impaired remain safe and independently mobile day in and day out. Guide dogs are carefully trained to recognize obstacles, and to help guide their handlers around such things. They are trained to help handler’s access public transportation, navigate public places and cross roads safely.
Guide dogs are legally allowed into all public places due to their handler’s dependence on them for safety and mobility. Due to this fact however, guide dogs must have a special calm, quiet, non-aggressive and well-behaved temperament.
According to GuidedogsofAmerica.org the breeds most commonly used as guide dogs are as follows:
- 70% Labrador Retrievers
- 15% Golden Retrievers
- 15% German Shepherds
After two year’s of training dogs, are carefully matched with handlers based on the handler’s lifestyle and environment. Consideration is also given to the size of the dog, the strength, pace of walk and energy levels. Each of these things is taken into consideration so to match dogs and humans to create the best relationship possible.
International Guide Dog Day is intended to honor the dogs that are working hard to help their handlers as well as all the people who work very hard to train and match dogs with their owners, creating such important life-changing relationships.
How to Celebrate?
- Adopt a dog and give it a loving home.
- If you have a dog, treat them with their favorite treats.
- If you are unable to have a dog in your family, celebrate the day by donating your time and money to the local animal and dog shelter.
Did You Know…
…Guide dogs receive formal training which takes two years and costs around $25,000?