Did you know that guide dogs are allowed on public transport such as the MRT and buses? Service animals are allowed to accompany visually handicapped commuters and are allowed on board trains and in train stations. The guide dogs will wear a special harness. Guide dogs are assistant dogs that are specially trained to provide help to people who are living with disabilities. This type of dog serves the purpose of leading visually impaired and blind individuals by helping them find their way around obstacles or situations that they would not typically be able to navigate. Training A Guide Dog A dog is not transformed into a guide dog within a matter of minutes or hours. It takes a lot of time to train and socialize the dog within a range of environments and situations until it is matched with a companion who is visually impaired. Larger breeds such as German shepherds, Labradors and Golden Retrievers are the main options for guide dogs due to their size. They have the ability to lead their companions or handlers and avoid walking into hazardous situations. Puppies that will end up as guide dogs are usually placed inside the homes of foster families or volunteers. This is essential for enabling them to develop social skills. Dogs are expected to begin advanced training sessions after a year. These sessions are facilitated by professional trainers and can last for as long as six months. During this training period, specialized skills like retrieving objects as well as navigation and obedience are taught and practiced. Guide dogs are introduced to the harnesses that they will be wearing when they work in order for them to be able to enhance their partners’ mobility. After completing this level of training, the dog embarks on the next phase that consists of assisting a visually impaired person who has applied for a service dog. An instructor or school is responsible for supervising the matching process. At this time, the handler or partner and dog start to bond and work through training sessions that involve practicing in daily situations that they are
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