Guide Dog Programme

Credit: Life with Pets Photography

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 clients 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 8 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.

Curious about the experience of owning a guide dog? Hear it from our client, Alvin!

Guide Dogs Singapore Ltd (GDS) would like to thank Perropet and share the lovely feature they did with Guide Dog team, Alvin and Seretta.
Credit: https://www.perropet.com/2018/05/15/perrofeature-i-fell-love-first-touch-guide-dog-seretta/

Click below to find out more!

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 clients 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

Clare is the best mobility aid, enabling me to travel more safely and efficiently – but she is so much more than that. She is now my closest companion and best friend, and she empowers me with greater freedom and confidence every day. Clare is now an invaluable part of my life.

Hong Sen

Guide Dog User

“I often say Jordie is my third son. Jordie guides me everywhere. He can recognise steps, doors, lifts, escalators and gantries. I feel lost when I’m out without him.”

Gary

Guide Dog User

I love animals, and a guide dog brings me companionship and joy. More importantly, it has enabled and allowed me to regain the active lifestyle that I longed for again.

Loo Lan

Guide Dog User

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

20 Sin Ming Ln, #02-53, Singapore 573968