Guide dog training
I’m a brave little dog
The first step in the training process of the hungarian guide dogs is the selection of the suitable individuals. Those healthy one-one and a half-year-old labrador or golden retriever breed dogs that are offered to be trained are tested in several different situations for two weeks. We examine their behaviours in traffic, crowd, on public conveyances, in noise and in the company of other dogs, cats and other animals. Twenty-five percent of these dogs prove suitable to be trained as guide dogs. Our task is easier if the dog is with a family collaborating with our association since puppyhood. Thus, when they turn one we are able to decide safely whether they would become suitable based on their mental skills.
I am suitable
If the strict veterinary examinations verify the suitability of the proposant, the six-month-long tarining may begin. First of all, the dog needs to acquire some important disciplinary tasks which may be followed by a training where it learns to perform guiding tasks.
I can take part in the six-month-long training
Our methods applied during the training has been developed from János Rithnovszky’s ”leading technique” which is a non-violent method and the utilization of those aspects we have experienced during our field trips in England and in Switzerland. The essence of our method is that the dog should be trained according to its future way of life. Our dogs don’t live in kennels but are raised by our trainers at their homes. The practical training doesn’t take place in a training field but in real life situations. At first, in unfrequented areas, later in busy streets.
No outdated coercive devices such as instructional carriages are applied during the training process. Our trainers who are well aware of the limitations and transport capability of the visually impaired teach the dogs the proper guiding tasks by their own motions and imitations of collisions and stumblings. By the end of the training the dog must be able to navigate his eye-covered trainer securely in every situation presumable in traffic. The dog has to prove this capability at an exam as well at the end of the training.
I can take the road safety exam
The last and most important phase of the guide dog training is the so-called partnership training when the dog and its future owner practice together. This is the part when it turns out whether the dog would make a good job in guiding in the future. Dog and master have to learn to speak a common language, get to know each others’ capacities and have to learn to understand each other. Although this process takes several weeks, the hard work bears fruit and they become inseparable for life. The official training ends with a road safety exam but the colleagues of our Foundation are ready to help you solve any problems that you may come across in the future.