For the visually impaired, a guide dog is far more than just a helping tool: he/she is a companion, a personal and tolerant helper at all times and under all circumstances who accepts each and every disability and handicap of the owner.
Training a guide dog is a complex task. Emphasis is not only on the dog itself, whose capability development is also amended by contact-building skills with a diversity of people – all of this requires sophisticated psychological and pedagogical knowledge and extremely special skills on behalf of the trainer.
Requirements and conditions towards guide dogs-to-be and their future trainers likewise are very strict.
The first and most decisive step is the careful selection of the dog for training. In most cases these are Labradors or Golden Retrievers who need to be extensively tested in and under a vast variety of situations and circumstances.
Their behaviour needs to be analysed under a number of different impulses and factors, be it in intensive traffic, on vehicles, in extreme crowds, noisy environments or together with other animals.