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September is National Guide Dog Month!

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Please join Nylabone in congratulating the hardworking guide dogs around the world and their equally hardworking trainers! Guide dogs provide vital services for visually impaired people, acting as their eyes everywhere they go.

References to guide dogs date as far back as the mid 16th century. The first guide dog school was established in the United States in 1929 in Nashville, Tennessee and later relocated to Morristown, New Jersey. America’s first guide dog owner was Morris Frank and his dog was named Buddy, a German Shepherd.

Ricki on the Steps

Guide Dogs Today
Today Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds are breeds that are very likely to be trained as guide dogs, however this does not mean other breeds such as Poodles, Collies, Vizslas, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Boxers, Border Collies, and Airedale Terriers do not serve in that capacity. Guide dog breeds are chosen in relation to their height at the shoulder measured against harness length and an individual’s height.
(Courtesy of Wikipedia.com)

Fun Guide Dog facts:

  • Guide dogs are allowed access everywhere the public is allowed, including restaurants, grocery stores, and in the cabins of airplanes.
  • Guiding Eyes has more than 1,400 volunteers that perform essential tasks. Depending on where you live, you may be able to raise a future guide dog, foster a member of the breeding colony, or help socialize their youngest pups.
  • Guide dog users listen to traffic flow and other sounds to decide when it’s safe to cross a street.
  • A guide dog’s balanced diet and feeding times are strictly monitored for good health and reliable schedules.
  • If you wish to assist a person with a guide dog, first ask if you can be of help. If your assistance is accepted, offer your elbow.
  • Guide dog users have been taught the proper and humane way to maintain their dog’s training, using verbal reprimands and leash corrections. Guide dogs get lots of praise for a job well done.
  • Guide dogs are on duty when they are in their harness, even when sitting or lying down.
  • Information courtesy of https://www.guidingeyes.org.

    Raising puppies to one day serve as guide dogs requires a high level of patience and consistency, as well as extensive training. Over the last year Nylabone has been closely following the YouTube video series “Growing Up Guide Pup” as it documented all the hard work and effort that goes into the training of a guide puppy named Ricki. From crate training to taking Ricki out to the ball game, Growing Up Guide Pup takes you along every step of the way. Although Ricki ultimately did not become a guide dog, she won a special place in our hearts over at Nylabone for her efforts. In fact, upon her returning home to her trainers Amie and Matt, we decided to send her a welcome home gift for her and her brother Eli…

    Nylabone welcomes Ricki back home with an awesome gift! Yes, for those who are not aware.
    We did keep Ricki. Video Courtesy of GuideDogManiac on YouTube

    Season 2 of the Growing Up Guide Pup videos series is slated to begin filming soon, and they need help picking the new puppy’s name!! To help them name their newest guide dog, or for the season 2 premier date, visit their website at http://www.growingupguidepup.com or their YouTube page.

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