Dogs have helped people for centuries in a variety of jobs - hunting, service, fishing, participating in rescue and military activities, guarding the territory, the house and its inhabitants, grazing livestock ... It is difficult to say at once when such a faithful pet is unable to support, and the proof of that - mastering the profession of "guide". After all, not even every person is able to work in this field ... However, there are breeds of dogs - guide dogs, which, like nobody, manages to be "eyes", "hands" of their owner, to understand it from half a dozen, guard against external dangers and be real "Guardian angels".
- Собака-поводырь: зачем нужна и особенности применения 1. Guide Dog: Why is it necessary and the particular application
- Какие требования предъявляются к питомцам-поводырям? 2. What are the requirements for guide dogs?
- Нюансы обучения 3. Nuances of learning
- Из собак каких пород получаются лучшие поводыри? 4. What breeds of dogs are best guides?
Guide Dog: why is it necessary to use the application?
Unlike the widespread opinion, guide dogs are useful not only for people with visual problems. For example, in America, the practice of training soldiers who have undergone amputations, together with guide dogs, is applied. The four-footed comrades assist in domestic affairs - accompany during the exits from the house, serve clothes, newspapers and so on.
Similar pets are recommended for children suffering from various ailments accompanied by sudden bouts. The list of diseases includes heart failure, diabetes, epilepsy and other diseases. The dog not only protects and protects his ward, but also in a critical situation, can press a special button in the phone or sensor that causes emergency help.
The course of the guide business is quite complicated. According to statistics, only a quarter of all trainees successfully pass it and embark on this hard work. Specialists engaged in training such dogs are sure that the important is not the breed or the intelligence of the animal, but the specificity of the activity.
Unfortunately, in Russia there are too few schools that prepare four-legged guides, and the process of raising such dogs is too expensive. This leads to the fact that not all people who need such an assistant can afford it.
In contrast to European countries, where guide dogs provide at least 50% of patients with disabilities, this figure does not exceed 5%. Most attention is paid to this aspect in the UK.
What are the requirements for guide dogs?
The minimum training course for guide work is 8-9 months, but more often a year or more is required. For training, the grown up puppies are 4-6 months old or young dogs that showed certain abilities during training.
Puppy, first of all, it is necessary to learn the basic skills program, after which he gets into the family of the future owner, where his socialization takes place. When the pet grows up, at 10-12 months, he returns to training, where he learns all the specifics of the work ahead.
Naturally, the dog should be educated, have high learning ability and be able to adapt to certain conditions. There are no separate breeds that can cope with this activity, often the guides are mongrels. But it does not matter whether a thoroughbred dog or not, he must have the following innate qualities and acquired skills:
- stable psyche;
- resistance to stressful situations;
- benevolent character, absence of obvious anger and aggression towards people, but the presence of protective qualities is desirable;
- among the psychotypes suited most sanguine;
- the dog should be able to ignore the natural instincts: do not rush past a running cat, an attractive individual, etc .;
- to have strong physical health;
- do not have defects, deviations of a genetic nature;
- perfectly transfer the transport to waterways and other types of transport.
Train the guide dog begin after the application is submitted. In simple terms, a person who needs such a pet, indicates his illness and a number of requirements for the future quadruped helper.
Nuances of learning
Before proceeding to the course, the coach is engaged in assessing the existing skills and characteristics of the psyche of the dog:
- reaction to loud sounds - the dog should react, but calmly;
- behavior in transport - it must be collected and not be afraid;
- The dog should be able to avoid obstacles, preferring a safe route;
- the pet should have an excellent memory and memorize important routes: to a medical institution, a store, a pharmacy, etc.
It is important to train the dog to move only on the left side of the zone for pedestrians, for this the teams "left" and "right" are practiced. In addition, a number of training sessions are conducted in the areas of polygons covered with various road materials.
Important! Such training is based on a basic program that the dog should not only know perfectly, but perform at the level of intuition.
The dog must learn to walk ahead of the master, ensuring the safety of his movement, carefully avoiding obstacles and signaling their presence. For example, a person, in order not to get injured, should be warned that there is a ramp, a threshold, a ledge, a ladder, etc. in front.
The dog must independently assess the size of the threat, that is, if he believes that the owner can not overcome the obstacle, the pet must stop and block the passage with his own body. After the dog chooses another road, directing the owner through it.
This guide can independently plot the route, and this skill is taught in the conditions of the test site. Such an operating time is reminiscent of the auto-driving course: cones, obstacles are placed on the track, and the dog decides - where it is possible to overcome the threshold, and where it is better to circumvent accurately.
One of the specific activities is an exercise with a rope and a pendulum. The cargo starts to move from side to side, and the dog should hold the "person" in such a way that contact with the load and the rope does not happen.
When the development of new routes on the test site gives positive and lasting results, training becomes practical - the dog begins to study the real routes of his master. But even here the training is not without a professional, and the process of acquaintance with the new owner occurs during training.
When a dog finishes training courses, he is given a number of rights. A guide dog is allowed:
- to travel in any kind of urban transport;
- be in public crowded places: hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, shops, etc .;
- The coach or instructor remains the guardian of the animal and can protect his ward.
What breeds of dogs are best guides?
On the territory of America and European countries, guide dogs are not chosen for blood purity. The main criterion is the growth of a dog, suitable for wearing a special harness with a handle, for which the host should hold.
Most often among the guides you can find a border collie, Bernese Mountain Dogs and almost all representatives of shepherds. In the United States, there is the practice of training dogs to work with people suffering from epilepsy, there are no restrictions on either size or pedigree, but the dog must have a choleric temperament.
There is a special kind of guide who gets skills of supervision and protection of infants, have a propensity to a sudden death syndrome from a breath stop.
There are several breeds of which are excellent guides for people deprived of sight. Of course, their abilities are revealed only in a practical way, after being evaluated statistically. This category includes the following breeds:
- Labrador retriever A universal dog, most often acting as a companion and perfectly assimilating the program of the guide art. Most of the schools choose to study Labrador Retriever. In addition, such dogs often participate in rescue operations both on land and in the water. One of the Labradors, nicknamed Dorado, managed to save his master during the fall of the twin towers on September 11, 2001. The dog did not escape, sensing the danger, but found the owner and led him to an emergency exit.
- Golden retriever Golden - owners of not only golden wool, but also "golden" character. By nature, they are not too different from Labradors, but their coat needs more careful care. Golden retriever successfully performs the role of nurse, is an excellent companion for adults. Among golden there are also many heroes, for example, the dog Toby helped his mistress, who was choked by a piece of apple. He overturned the hostess on his back and literally stomped on it with his front paws until the woman began to breathe. A golden retriever of Yoga, previously unrelated to the rescue work, remained with his owner, who fell from a bicycle and was seriously injured. And later he called for help, and the injured was delivered to the hospital in time.
- German Shepherd Another universal breed, by popularity superior to all the rest. They are most often used for official purposes, but there are a lot of guides among them. "Germans" possess high intelligence, with proper training they are balanced and master any skills.
- Collie Scottish Shepherds are also the smartest dogs who have received basic skills during grazing and cattle protection. The pet is able to perform commands the first time, is very efficient and positive. The long-haired version of the collie has the most beautiful appearance due to the luxurious wool. But the care of such a pet requires more thorough. But the owners have a choice - a collie with a short or stiff coat does not need frequent combing.
- Aussie This is an Australian breed of sheep dogs, which goes level with the collie, both by hereditary characteristics, and by the ability to contact the person. In addition, individuals with wool bluemer and blue eyes are included in the lists of the most beautiful dogs. Many schools of training guide dogs specialize precisely for these two breeds, receiving surprising results.
- Rottweiler At first glance, it may seem that these big guys are fighting dogs, however, the breed is official, and its representatives act as companions. Dogs do have a serious temper, but with proper training they become rather compliant. But their appearance plays with them a cruel joke, and, despite the great potential, rarely does anyone decide to take such a guide. In addition, the appearance of a formidable companion can cause panic in a public place.
- Dobermann The official dog, perfectly coping with security and watchdog work, strong, agile. Doberman has the necessary qualities of an escort. His attentiveness, alertness and excellent sense of smell make it possible to correct the path of movement in advance. In addition, the dog is always ready to stand up for the protection of its owner.
A guide dog is not just a pet, but a pet, to which the master has to rely completely, entrusting his own life. The dog becomes a real friend, an irreplaceable family member and a good helper. A man and his four-legged friend are a real team working harmoniously and harmoniously, however, despite the dependence of a person, he always remains the main one in this bundle.