Our guide dog program is one which helps to put the “Custom” into Custom Canines. Each dog is raised and socialized by one of our exceptional puppy trainers. At about fifteen to eighteen months of age, the puppy leaves his/her first home and goes to live with one of our certified/licensed guide dog trainers where he/she will spend the next two to four months learning all of the ins and outs of becoming a safe and effective guide for a person who is blind. Our program is unique to most. Our clients do not have to leave their homes for a month in order to be matched and trained with their new canine partner, which is required by most guide dog schools. We bring the dog to each client’s home, and we conduct all placement training in his or her environment. This makes the transition after graduation seamless, as both the dog and handler are familiar with the routes and environments that they will travel most frequently.
While in training, clients encounter life situations they are likely to face with their guide dogs after graduation. They get experience with public transportation, crowds, shopping centers, areas with and without sidewalks, restaurants and much more. They will also get an opportunity to work their dogs in areas unfamiliar to them in order to learn and practice troubleshooting techniques and pattern train their canine partners to new locations.
We primarily issue German Shepherd Dogs, Golden Retrievers, Standard Poodles and Labrador Retrievers. Our clients will learn about their specific breed of dog and the nuances of him or her. Instructions on how to introduce and shape new behaviors and how to maintain proper manners for each dog will be given.
Each team will receive extensive training on their rights as a working team and how to deal with access challenges. We want our graduates to understand that these dogs are in their lives to enhance their options for independent travel. We want each graduated team to feel confident, capable and well on the way to developing a working bond that can and will endure for many years to come.
Please contact us regarding guide dog applications and referrals.