Training man’s best friend and guide: Israel Guide Dog Center
Starting in 1991, Israel Guide Dog Center has offered Israelis with visual impairment a new outlook on life. With an estimated 24,000 visually impaired individuals in Israel, the guide dogs give their human companions more independence, versatility, and the loving companionship that make dogs such great friends.
Becoming a guide dog is no walk in the park. Each dog goes through an extensive training program that was developed with the rigors or Israel’s environment in mind. Every guide dog learns a range of Hebrew commands and go through the new street-scape training.
If you’ve spent much time walking through the busy intersection in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, it’s not hard to imagine how helpful a guide dog can be! The guide dogs are able to faithfully lead their “Partner” through the maze of obstacles that you run into in Israel’s bustling streets..
But that’s just the start!
Over time, the guide dogs and their partners build a truly profound (some call it miraculous) connection. The guide dog–partner relationship is built on deep trust, cooperation, and can only grows stronger with time.
As an added benefit, the guide dogs can be really powerful social magnets, helping partners to meet new people and strike up conversations.
But it’s not just the partners and guide dogs that benefit. Israel Guide Dog’s Puppy Raising volunteer program has become incredibly popular, particularly among university students on-campus. Volunteers get to take their future guide dogs everywhere, even to class!
The volunteers help teach the puppies how to navigate left and right and differentiate between right and wrong. And never take food from anyone except their volunteer guide. If you’ve ever had a dog of your own, you know that’s not an easy feat.
At least at Israel Guide Dog Center, dogs are undeniably man’s best friend.