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We are committed to our dogs achieving meaningful connections and relationships with all people who provide them with care.
Education and support
Everyone who cares for our dogs will receive ongoing education on the most up-to-date information on animal welfare, effective inter-species communication, and how to use ethical and effective handling strategies.
Positive and meaningful connections between dogs, clients, volunteers, and staff are supported by:
- being aware of, and responsive to, a dog’s individual needs and behaviours (this includes introducing new experiences and interactions with other people, animals, and environments at a pace that ensures the dog's comfort),
- using ethical and effective dog handling and positive reward-based training strategies,
- regularly engaging in a variety of enjoyable activities together such as grooming, exercise, and play, and
- ensuring dogs feel safe and secure when transitioning through different steps in our program and life stages.
Connecting the dog to the role that they choose
Our teams identify the best pathways for each dog, including graduating as a working Seeing Eye Dog, other assistance roles, or offering companionship to a family as a pet.
Connect and collaborate with partner organisations and industry experts
- Seeing Eye Dogs values the importance of national and international collaborations on learning and research to promote overall improvement in the care and outcomes for dogs bred to become Seeing Eye Dogs, dog guides, or service dogs.
- We proactively explore alternative roles with partner organisations for Seeing Eye Dogs that are better suited to other assistance or service dog careers.
- Seeing Eye Dogs engages with external experts to review our practices when opportunities for improvement are identified that require additional expertise.
- We stay connected with all dogs in our program and support them through transitional phases including career change and retirement.
- Every one of our dogs is special, however, not all dogs are destined to become a Seeing Eye Dog.
- Our team explores many options for our career-changed dogs. Where appropriate this may be with another organisation in an alternative role or adopted as a pet by a loving family.
- We promote positive transitions by effectively communicating the dog's needs and preferences to the person and/or people who will be taking over care of the dog at each transition point.
- We ensure that any person or organisation that will take over the care or ownership of a Seeing Eye Dog has the knowledge and ability to provide the same standards of welfare provided by Seeing Eye Dogs.
We provide the highest level of care to ensure our dogs live happy and healthy lives, so they can support people who are blind or have low vision live the life they choose.