Service Dogs For The Disabled



How to Get a Service Dog for Your Blind or Visually Impaired Child

Steps

Finding the Right Guide Dog Program

  1. Master orientation and mobility skills with your child.Reputable dog guide schools require students to demonstrate they can travel independently with a cane. Your child should be able to walk safely in familiar areas, cross the street, find destinations, and be able to problem solve should they become lost or disoriented.
    • If your child needs help mastering safe, effective, and efficient travels skills, contact an Orientation and Mobility Specialist in your area.
  2. Research guide dog schools online.There are around 15 guide dog schools in the United States, and multiple schools throughout the rest of the world. Visit the National Federation of the Blind’s website and explore the Guide Dog Resource List at . This resource provides information on reputable guide dog schools in multiple states.
  3. Research dog breeds online.Once you’ve decided that a service dog is the right choice for your child and family, you should do some online research on service dog breeds. Learn about breeds that are commonly bred to be service dogs for the blind. This will help you choose a school that trains a breed of your preference.
    • Large breeds that are commonly trained as service dogs include German Shepherds and Standard Poodles.
    • Active breeds that are trained as guide dogs by some schools include Australian Shepherds and Border Collies.
    • Breeds trained as guide dogs that are family friendly include Labradors and Golden Retrievers.
  4. Contact schools about age requirements.Once you’ve completed your online research, contact several guide dog schools that are of interest to you. Many guide dog schools require that students be at least 18 years of age. Ask the school what programs exist for children and teenagers.
  5. Ask schools about specific breeds.Once you have determined what breed of service dog your child wants, contact individual schools about what breeds they work with. Different schools will breed and train specific breeds, and you will want to make sure the school of your choice can pair your child with the breed you desire.

Applying to Get a Service Dog

  1. Submit an application.Once you’ve researched schools and dogs, you will need to submit an application to the guide dog school of your choice. Most schools offer the option of submitting it online or mailing a paper copy.
    • The application will require you to provide information about your health, finances, travel practices, and whether or not your child has received Orientation and Mobility training.
  2. Complete a phone interview and home visit.Most guide dog schools will require you to interview over the telephone once they receive your application. After the initial interview a representative from the school will set up a home visit to ensure your child is a good fit for a service dog. You will then be approved or rejected for admission to the school.
    • You will be interviewed about your finances, lifestyle, and the child’s health history and educational arrangement.
  3. Pay the associated fees.Getting a guide dog and attending training will require you to pay fees to the guide dog school. For many programs these fees can be as little as . Other programs may cost several hundreds of dollars. Be sure you discuss the financial cost of the dog and program with the school before signing up for guide dog training.
  4. Attend guide dog school.Once accepted, your child will complete an on campus training that will last approximately two to three weeks. The school will pair your child with a dog. While at the school, your child and their new canine companion will engage in intensive training. Your child will stay on site at the school for the duration of the training.
    • Depending on your child’s age, you may be required to attend the training with them.

Living with Your New Service Dog

  1. Prepare a space for the service dog.Your new service dog will need a space in your home when it becomes a member of your family. You should buy the dog a bed, food and water bowls, a collar, and a leash. You will need to set up the dog’s bed in the same room that your blind or visually impaired child sleeps.
  2. Make the dog perform its mobility tasks every day.Service dogs, also referred to as guide dogs, are bred and trained to assist blind or visually impaired people. However, they must exercise their skills daily or they can lose them.
    • These tasks can include crossing the street, locating objects, and alerting the child to danger such as a moving car.
    • The child will need to perform these tasks with the dog whenever possible.
  3. Provide for the dog’s physical and emotional needs.A service or guide dog requires daily care. You and your family will need to be able to dedicate ample time for feeding and grooming. The dog will also need regular daily exercise. This is especially important if the dog is an active breed like an Australian Shepherd or Border Collie.

Community Q&A

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  • Question
    How can I train a service animal?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    There are specific programs that will train your animal to become a service animal. You can research more about them online.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What if I'm homeschooled and need to find a way to earn money to buy it?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    There are organizations out there that have wait lists to provide service dogs for the visually impaired. I would recommend doing a google search for organizations near you.
    Thanks!
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Date: 06.12.2018, 18:35 / Views: 35461