How do guide dogs know where to go?

Brains

Legendary Member
Location
Greenwich
I have a regular person/dog combo who lives and works near me, so we do the same commute.
I'm astounded on a regular basis of what the dog can do.

It can deal with snow, it can deal with closed routes, it can find empty seats on a crowded train.

It does not know any more than the rest of us which platform the train will arrive, but knows to make for the big gates and then figure out the route to the tube thereafter, it can even deal with being delivered to the wrong station!
 

Levo-Lon

Guru
A lady i worked for a few yrs ago, new dog kennel base in her garden.
She's been blind all her life,
The dogs she has are amazing
The lady works for DBUk.
She leaves her house in Peterborough and walks to the train station.
3/4 mile.
Train to kings cross, and then the tube, and then walks to her office..

Some people make you feel very humble.
 
OP
Phaeton

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
Thank you all especially those with their pathetic supposedly humorous answers, please try harder in future, or even better think before you answer & don't.

I am sorry that some found it whimsical, I was just in awe of the partnership, more so that she wasn't the obligatory Labrador & appeared to be a mongrel. I'm with @meta lon who was typing at the same time as me, the thought of putting my trust in another animal is currently beyond me.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
There's a remarkable book by Sheila Hocken called Emma and I, which is about a living with a guide dog. The really amazing part is when her GP tells her there is now an op that can reverse her blindness; she has the op but then has to go through a long process of learning to see again. for example she sees a cup and saucer on a table but doesn't recognise it until she reaches out to feel it. Streetscapes are a huge problem with moving vehicles and changing perspectives.

The bit when the bandages come off is pretty good but the best bit is when she spots the dog stealing the cat's food and shouts at her. The dog is shocked to the core, she writes that it's as if she's been struck by a bolt of lightning. Then the dog suddenly realises her owner has seen what she is doing and goes absolutely bonkers with joy. It's a bit of a sacchraine tear-jerker but a good read.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emma-I-Sheila-Hocken/dp/0091943361
 
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Accy cyclist

Legendary Member
I'm not taking the pee here but not having wonderful vision myself I just wouldn't have a black dog. I know that if you're totally blind it doesn't really matter, but some partially sighted people have black Labrador guide dogs. Is this wise?
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
A heightened sense of smell?
 

postman

Legendary Member
Location
,Leeds
Many many years ago,i was the secretary and driving force of a works cycle team.We operated for 10 years.We once rode to Blackpool from Leeds to raise funds for the Guide Dogs for the Blind.The finish of the ride was going to be a ride on the Blackpool Big One .Sorry to say the weather had turned really bad and the theme park was closing,we raised enough money to buy two puppies to be trained.If i can work out how to copy and paste i will put up the posters and report on here soon.
 

Archie_tect

De Skieven Architek... aka Penfold
Location
Northumberland
As Labradors tend not to be as hardy as mongrels I suppose it makes sense to train mongrels as the relationship between the dog and the person being guided is so strong- it must be heartbreaking to lose a dog.
 
OP
Phaeton

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
As Labradors tend not to be as hardy as mongrels I suppose it makes sense to train mongrels as the relationship between the dog and the person being guided is so strong- it must be heartbreaking to lose a dog.
I think the issue might be that with a Labrador you have a known quantity to a degree, whereas a mongrel could potentially be an completely unknown quantity, temperament, size etc.
 

Archie_tect

De Skieven Architek... aka Penfold
Location
Northumberland
I think the issue might be that with a Labrador you have a known quantity to a degree, whereas a mongrel could potentially be an completely unknown quantity, temperament, size etc.
True, better to use kennel-bred sheep-dog/ lab/ spaniel crosses [mongrels] which are malleable, easily trained help dogs- rather than blood-line pedigrees or 'Heinz 57' mongrels from unknown sources.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Heard the one about the bloke who wanders into a butcher's shop with a Dachshund on a lead? "Hey!" says the butcher, "You can't bring that dog in here!"

"I'm blind and this is my guide dog!" replies the bloke.

"That's not a guide dog!" retorts the butcher.

"Why not?"

"Well guide dogs are usually Labradors or Alsations - big dogs."

"So what's this?" asks the bloke.

"It's a Dachshund!"

The bloke looks annoyed and walks out, muttering: "Those lying sods down at the blind centre....."
 
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