Dogs that successfully complete the intensive training program, are identified as a possible match with someone who needs a Guide Dog (Beneficiary).
Our trainer, the Guide Dog Mobility Instructors (GDMI) review and consider the traits of the dog against aspects of the user’s life including:
After the matching process is completed and finalized, the new Guide Dog and user ‘partnership’ training is tailored to the specific needs of the user. They will spend around 1 week in Bucharest learning the basics and forming a bond with their new dog. Following this, they will move to the beneficiary’s home to continue the training.
Over the course of 2 – 3 weeks, the GDMI will teach the dog and user how to negotiate routes or
journeys that are regularly taken (eg. to the shops, bus or train station). This allows them to become familiar with the journey and be comfortable working together as a partnership.
A formal assessment is undertaken at the end of the course, to determine if a partnership is able to graduate. Once the partnership has graduated, the GDMI will maintain a relationship with he user and visit periodically, to check everything is going smoothly and there are no issues or problems. This happens for the remainder of the dog’s working life.
This varies, depending on the individual dog. Typically, a dog will work for 8 – 10 years before retiring. Upon retirement, they get to hang up their harness and enjoy relaxing. The first option for the dog will be to live as a pet with the person who looked after them as a puppy raiser. If this is not possible, contact us to go on our list of people who would like to enjoy having a retired guide dog as a pet.