What Is A Guide Dog?
A Guide Dog (also known as Seeing Eye Dogs) is a specially-trained dog, typically, a Labrador or Golden Retriever (although some other breeds are used) that provide assistance to someone living with blindness or vision impairment.
They provide companionship and support and help someone regain their independence and freedom. Guide Dogs help to:
- Locate and negotiate regular routes and destinations eg. the Post Office
- Give someone the confidence to leave the house on their own
- Give someone the ability to use public transport to maintain employment
But it’s the intangible benefits that really make all the difference.
“Until you have a Guide Dog, you don’t know what they can do—or the difference they will make… Rinty is my best friend. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.” – Lorna with Guide Dog Rinty.
Our Guide Dog training program is the only one of its kind in Western Australia. We provide services within the local community that increase mobility, independence and quality of life.
The dogs complete a comprehensive, two-year, multi-stage training program to teach them the necessary skills they need to support someone with a vision impairment. This includes:
- Locate a pedestrian crossing box
- Stop at kerbs or stairs
- Negotiate obstacles in the street (eg. parked cars)
- Find a door or a seat
- Boarding public transport
Because of this specialist training, it is extremely important that dogs are not distracted by members of the public while they are working. Find out more about how to act around a Guide Dog.
Who is Eligible for a Guide Dog?
Here at Guide Dogs WA, we want to see a world where everybody who needs a Guide Dog, has a Guide Dog. For that reason, each of our dogs is provided free of charge to people who are blind or vision impaired.
You do not have to be totally blind to receive a Guide Dog, but if the following eligibility criteria is met, then you can apply:
- At least 16 years of age
- Are classed as legally blind
- Are a resident of West Australia.
How To Apply for a Guide Dog
Owned and operated by VisAbility, Guide Dogs WA relies on the generous support of the community to fund the ongoing Guide Dog program. Please consider making a donation to support the future of the training program.Back to Top