Programmes

Guide Dogs

About the Programme

Man’s best friend

just got better

At Guide Dogs Singapore Ltd, we believe that people with vision loss are fully capable of living active and fulfilling lives. Our mission is thus to help blind and visually-impaired people to achieve their fullest potential within society. To support them, our Guide Dog Programme seeks to build their confidence to travel independently and safely.

Affectionately considered a man’s best friend, some dog breeds have an innate desire to work, making them exceptional service companions. Our Guide Dog Programme harnesses a dog’s guiding ability to enhance the mobility and safety of blind and visually-impaired people.

A guide dog is a mobility aid and is trained to guide its blind and visually impaired user in these ways.

Avoiding ground and low-hanging obstacles

Stopping at kerbs and stairs and manoeuvring through crowds

Walking in a straight line without sniffing

Waiting for its handler’s command before crossing the road

Finding objects that are within sight when given command such as “Find a seat”, “Find the lift”, “Find the door” etc

Refusing commands that may lead both itself and its handler in danger – also known as “Intelligent Disobedience”

The Process

Becoming a

Guide Dog User

Guide dogs are provided to competent beneficiaries who fulfil stringent requirements that include possessing adequate Orientation and Mobility (O&M) skills and having been certified by our Guide Dog Mobility Instructor as having suitable home environments. The guide dog and its handler (collectively, the Guide Dog Team) will receive continual training and support from GDS to ensure a viable and healthy relationship between handler and guide dog. Guide dogs work exclusively with their handlers for eight to 10 years if conditions permit. Therefore, they are more than a mobility aid, providing their handlers with companionship and increasing their handlers’ confidence and social contact.

Once a guide dog has been matched with its handler, our GDMI will train both the dog and its handler to ensure that both are a good fit for each other and the working relationship is successful. Guide dogs have been proven to make travelling safer and also more efficient for their handlers. Stringent assessments are continually carried out for both dog and handler and the necessary support given to our Guide Dog Teams to maintain a long, healthy relationship between the two.

Training and Matching Process

How you acquire a guide dog


Phase 1 (0-8 Weeks)

Puppies play and train with puppy raisers. Professionals assess their ability to be guide dogs.


Phase 2 (12 Months)

Puppies return to training school for re-assessment. A potential user begins O&M training.


Phase 3 (15-18 Months)

The suitability of O&M trainees to be paired with guide dogs is asssessed.


Phase 4 (15-18 Months)

Guide dogs are paired with the most suitable candidate.


Phase 5 (18-20 Months)

The guide dog begins advanced training with the selected candidate.


Phase 6 (20-22 Months)

After this period of advanced training, a guide dog team is formed.

Our time in the field has allowed us to pair some of our beneficiaries with a guide dog. And every one of them has a story worth telling.

I travel at a faster speed and walk more ‘normally’. Besides, walking a guide dog is like walking in no-man’s land, thus forces me to sharpen my O&M skills. More confident and independent in travelling solo.

Alvin Ng

Guide Dog User

Melba cuts down my travelling time by two-third, what used to take me one hour is now reduced to 20 minutes!

Dennis Sim

Guide Dog User

I always call Esme my yellow Ferrari… I really enjoy the freedom of going where I want and not being limited by my disability.

Cassandra Chiu

Guide Dog User

See All Stories

Prerequisite

Orientation and Mobility

Only those who have undergone O&M can qualify for a guide dog.

Applying for GD Programme

If you wish to find out more, please contact us.

+65 6339 7900

admin@guidedogs.org.sg

18 Sin Ming Lane, Midview City, #08-37, Singapore 573960