The journey from puppy to fully trained guide dog is a long one. We take a closer look into Freedom Guide Dogs and the process.

The first step is a puppy raiser at 8 weeks of age to be socialized. Then between 12 and 18 months the dogs are returned to Freedom Guide Dogs for formal training. They will spend 4 months learning to help people negotiate streets, road crossings, pot holes, puddles, unwary walkers, low hanging branches, and many other hazards. They will be trained to find an empty seat on a bus, find the door to get into a building, avoid traffic, warn their owners about stairs and find their way to the cookie jar.

Once the dogs are trained and tested with a blind folded walk by their trainers, they will be matched with a person based on speed of walking, energy level and the handler's ability.

Then the "Hometown Training" begins. Trainers go to the new client's home and teach them to guide their dog through their daily routine. Whether it is a walk to the bank, taking a bus to work or grocery shopping for the family, trainers will teach the clients how to properly use their guides. Then they are on their own for the first time but Freedom Guide Dogs is only a phone call away and will travel to help if needed for the life of the dog.

The dogs are bred by the Director of Puppy Placement Specialists at Freedom Guide Dogs, Sharon Loori to have stable temperaments, excellent conformation and good health.

This is a very short look into the life of a guide dog and Freedom Guide Dogs will be more than happy to answer any questions.


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