About the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind®:
Since 1946, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. has provided guide dogs free of charge to blind or visually impaired people who seek renewed independence and enhanced mobility.
Students come to the Foundation from all over the United States and many foreign countries for the quality of its dogs and its innovative training techniques. Every future guide or service dog gets its start with volunteers called puppy raisers. Pups live with puppy raisers for about a year, learning basic obedience, good house manners, and vital social skills, before they return for formal training as guide or service dogs.
The Foundation offers a variety of training options so students can work with their dogs, bonding and learning to work as a team so they can live without boundaries.
About America’s VetDogs® – The Veteran’s K-9 Corps®
In 2003, the Guide Dog Foundation created America’s VetDogs to expand the services it offered to veterans of all eras, and with the military, to meet the need for innovative assistance dog training. VetDogs provides guide dogs for veterans who are blind; hearing dogs for those who are deaf or hard of hearing; service dogs for those with other physical or emotional disabilities; physical and occupational therapy dogs to work with amputees in military and VA hospitals; and combat stress control dogs that are deployed by the Army with combat stress control teams. America’s VetDogs has become the premier provider of assistance dogs for disabled veterans, active duty personnel, and those who have served our country honorably.
The Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs are supported entirely by donations from generous individuals, corporations and foundations. They receive no government funding.
What is an assistance dog?
A guide dog is an assistance dog trained to find and follow a clear path, maneuver around obstacles, and stop at curbs. A user with a guide dog gains enhanced mobility and independence. They help their partners safely navigate streets and intersections.
A service dog is specially trained to help people who have disabilities other than visual impairment and hearing loss. For example, this dog can be trained for a number of specific tasks depending on an individual’s needs: provide balance; fetch and retrieve dropped items; open doors; aid an amputee getting in and out of a chair; seizure alert response for someone with seizure disorder.
A hearing dog alerts and orients their partners to sounds such as an alarm clock, door knock, smoke alarm, telephone and doorbells.
PTSD Service Dogs
These dogs assist veterans who have PTSD as their primary disability. In addition to the foundations of service dog tasks, these dogs have also been trained to provide a calming effect and sense of security for their handlers.
Combat Operational Stress Control Dogs
These specially trained canines are deployed in theater with combat stress control teams. They offer emotional support for active duty servicemen and women dealing with combat stress, homefront issues, and sleep disorders.
Specialized Facility Dogs
These dogs are trained to provide physical and occupational therapy assistance at military or VA hospitals for wounded soldiers. They may also make visits to VA nursing homes or hospices.