The work they do and sacrifices they make for two-leggers is amazing, and incredibly admirable. Two-leggers who cannot see wouldn't be able to have an independent life without them. We thank and salute all the past, present and future guide dogs of the World - where would we be without you.
Here's a very informative video about Guide Dogs!
According to Wikipedia:
Guide dogs are assistance dogs trained to lead blind or vision impaired people around obstacles. Although the dogs can be trained to navigate various obstacles, they are partially (red-green) color blind and are not capable of interpreting street signs. The human half of the guide dog team does the directing, based upon skills acquired through previous mobility training. The handler might be likened to an aircraft's navigator, who must know how to get from one place to another, and the dog is the pilot, who gets them there safely.
In several countries, guide dogs, along with most service and hearing dogs, are exempt from regulations against the presence of animals in places such as restaurants and public transportation.
The first guide dog training schools were established in Germany during World War I, to enhance the mobility of returning veterans who were blinded in combat. The United States followed suit in 1929 with The Seeing Eye in Morristown, New Jersey.
The first guide dogs in Britain were German Shepherds. Three of these first were Judy, Meta and Folly who were handed over to their new owners, veterans blinded in World War I, on 6 October 1931. This was followed, in 1934, by the start of The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in Great Britain.
Here are additional resources:
- International Federation of Guide Dog Schools
- Assistance Dog International's directory of membership organizations