How Do You Apply for Guide Dog
Guide dogs, popularly known as assistance animals, Seeing Eye animals, or service animals are specially trained dogs who are in charge of leading blind and visually impaired people by avoiding obstacles, stopping at curbs and steps, negotiating the traffic or even find a limited number of objects that are within sights when given orders.
A U-shaped handler is often used to foster communication between the dog and the blind or visually impaired partner. In this relationship, the human’s duty is to provide directional commands, while the dog’s role is to ensure the partner’s security even if it requires disobeying orders that aren’t safe to his or her partner.
These dogs comprise of large breeds such as German shepherd, Labradors, and Golden retrievers that are carefully bred, socialized and raised for over one year before they are trained for four to six months by professional handlers and later handed over to their visually impaired or blind partners.
Even though these dogs are trained to navigate through obstacles, most of them are red-green color blind and may not be capable of interpreting road or street signs.
Applying for the guide dog
For one to apply for a guide dog, he or she must have proven to be blind or visually impaired. The application process involves a series of filling applications forms to training before the dog is handed to its handler.
Applying for a guide dog is taking a big step towards achieving your desired lifestyle. Throughout the application process, you will have the opportunity to learn more about your desire, goals, and lifestyle. You will be able to understand your roles and how to take care of your guide dog. Below is the step by step process to help you when applying for a guide dog.
Submitting your application.
After identifying a certified organization that offers guide dog services, you will have three options to apply for the dog. These include:
- Completing an online application form.
- Printing a copy and mailing it back to the organization.
- Request a paper copy or complete the application over the phone by calling the agency.
After receiving and reviewing your application, the organization will schedule a phone consultation and discuss issues such as your motivation and support for getting a guide dog. Your travel practices and lifestyle. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about guide dog services.
You will be requested to provide the following forms:
- Physician’s report-to be completed and signed by your health care physician.
- Orientation and mobility professional report-required if you received training in regards to mobility for the last five years.
- Mental health report.
After successfully submitting all the required documents, a team of officials will visit your home for an interview. Among the details you will discuss are:
- Your physical ability to work with a guide dog.
- Your willingness to learn and care for a guide dog.
- Any additional factor that will contribute to selecting a dog that suits your needs.
When your home visit has successfully been completed, and all forms received, you will be notified if your application has been approved.
Upon acceptance, you will be contacted to schedule a class date and campus location. An acceptance form and package of course materials will also be sent to you via mail.
Having gone through the entire process, you are now at liberty to meet your new canine partner and begin a series of exciting educational experience.
Throughout the training period, you will be guided an how to handle your dog including all the commands to be used when seeking its services. Upon successful completion of the training, your partner will be handed over to you, and you will be free to experience every exciting moment of using a guide.