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Seeing Eye Dogs And Their Impact On The Blind

1788 words - 7 pages

Imagine living your life in complete darkness not knowing where your next step will lead you or if you are about to encounter danger. The blind receive help from Seeing Eye dogs. This allows blind people to be safe and not get themselves into dangerous situations. Without Seeing Eye dogs, blind people wouldn’t get around as easily. Seeing Eye dogs, through their strong characteristics, intensive training and physical help have a huge impact on the blind to enable them to lead productive, independent lives. The dog’s behavior and personality have an effect on the person they are helping.
Seeing Eye dogs are incredibly intelligent and obedient. “They must understand and obey commands. The owner must always be in control. However, guide dogs must be intelligent enough to know when to disobey a command that puts the owner in danger” (March-2). They learn many commands that have to be memorized in order to help the blind. Obedience and acting well behaved have to be present in any environment that they are in. “A guide dog must be able to come to the handler's workplace or be in public places without creating a disturbance” (Harris). An obedient guide impacts a blind person because it reflects how well the owner takes care of it. If the behavior is poor at work it could potentially get the blind person in trouble. The attentiveness and hard-working nature of a service animal are important in directing a blind person.
Hard work and concentration are characteristics that are mandatory in order to aid the blind. “Guiding is very complicated, and it requires a dog's undivided attention” (Harris). Their concentration impacts the blind because if the dog is not focused it puts the owner at risk of falling or injury. There must be concentration because it allows the blind person to relax more knowing that a squirrel or anything else will not distract their guide. Although the size and breed is based on the owner’s choosing, training schools have a preference to the type they train.
There are three main breeds that are around the same size and have similar traits that are used to lead the blind. “Most guide dog schools use Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers or German Shepherds. These three breeds are characterized by intelligence, obedience, stamina and friendliness” (Harris). The characteristics in these breeds are preferred by all owners. The blind shouldn’t have too small of a dog where it requires them to bend over while walking, or one that’s too large where it can’t fit everywhere the blind person goes. The size should be medium-large. For example, a Golden Retriever is a medium-large sized dog because it is too tall or small and doesn’t weigh very much where it is dragging the owner around. “They should ideally fit comfortably on public transportation, such as subways and buses, and beneath tables in restaurants” (March1). If the dog doesn’t fit on public transportation then it prevents the blind person from going places. Before being able...

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