Nav: Home | Inst. | Burs. | Careers
Guide Dog Trainer
Guide dog trainers train dogs to guide people who are partially or wholly visually impaired, also known as blind people. After training a guide dog, the trainer needs to teach the blind person how to use the dog.

Guide dog trainers choose a team of twelve-month old puppies - usually eight - for training. The pups are put through a training programme and are then assessed over a period of from four to six months. Guide dog trainers then train the dogs to guide visually impaired people, getting the dogs used to all kinds of places of work and living conditions. Training lasts for up to six weeks. Blind people trained at the guide dog centre usually receive a further three to five days of follow up instruction after they return home.

Guide dog trainers need to be physically healthy and strong, and free from leg, back, muscular, skeletal or foot disorders, because young dogs often get excited, especially when they begin training and may jump up all over the trainee.

Satisfying Aspects
- being able to help visually impaired people
- meeting people from all walks of life
- satisfaction of seeing the result of your work when the dog and it's master work well together

Demanding aspects
- frustration and exhaustion when dogs do not respond to training
- having to work under time pressure sometimes
- having to work long hours, depending on the dog's progress

Guide dog trainers need to be/have;
- at least 16 years old
- enjoy working with animals
- aptitude for handling dogs
- patient and kind, firm, emotionally stable and mature
- physically strong and fit
- desire to work with visually impaired people
- able to communicate well

School Subjects
No minimum requirements

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: English, Other Languages, Life Sciences

Guide dog trainers receive practical in-service training under the supervision of experienced trainers.

- South African Guide Dog Association
- dog units in the SA Police and other defence force divisions
- self-employment is possible

Guide Dogs Association
126 Wroxham Road,
Tel: (011) 705-3512 Fax: (011) 086 506-3364