Guide Dog Commands, in Edmonton


[swoosh] ANNOUNCER: Here is an
AMI This Week Shortcut with Beth Deer. [music playing] BETH DEER: Most of you all
know what a guide dog is– a labrador, a German shepherd,
or even a labradoodle. But how many of you know
how a guide dog works? I don’t just mean, ‘Oh, they
help a blind person not walk into things.’ I mean the commands
and expectations of what that guide dog does for
that blind or partially sighted person. It’s OK. You don’t have to know, because
me and my guide dog, Patronus, are going to tell you. Patronus does everything
that my eyes can’t. We only have to walk a new route
two or three times before he remembers it for me. That being said, I still
need to know where I’m going. When I say he does
everything my eyes can’t, I mean it very literally. I am a huge makeup lover. So whenever I go to the
mall, I always go and look at some makeup,
but if he finds it before I find the
right shop, he’ll just take me straight to
the makeup every time. This is especially kind
of him, because when we get to the makeup, he just
lies on the floor and moans. Typical man. Patronus and I are
very fast walkers, so these first two commands
go hand in hand for us a lot of the time. Forward is used to get your
dog start moving forward. And hop up is used to get
your dog to walk faster. Halt-halt is the command
I use if I want him to stop. Heel-heel brings Patronus to
my left side with his shoulders parallel to my leg. Heel is his most used command. He uses it when he’s
working and when he’s not. I use all of these
commands on a daily basis. Forward, hop up,
and heel are great, but if I used them
all the time, I would be walking in a
straight line forever. Now we have left, right,
curb, and come around. I feel like I don’t need
to explain to you what left and right means, but I will. If I want him to turn
left, I say left. And if I want him to
turn right, I say right. Come around is a strange
one, because it’s not a working command,
but it is used mostly when the dog is working. Guide dogs work
on the left side, so when you come up to a
door that is left hinged, you have to stop
working your dog. Come around brings
Patronus my right side, assuring that we both get
through the door safely. Curb-when I say
curb to Patronus, he’ll either take me to
the nearest crossing, or if it’s a long road where
there isn’t a crossing, he’ll just take me to
the edge of the curb. Patronus will always alert
me to any elevation change. He’ll alert me by stopping
if it’s a down curb, or if it’s an up curb,
he’ll put his paws up. He will also show me if
I’m about to hit my head on something by stopping. His body will come
across me, which is telling me to check out
my immediate surroundings. If it’s above me or beside
me, I’ll feel it with my hand and tell him he’s a good boy. When the dog is working, they
don’t only communicate with you through verbal commands. They also know foot positioning,
body language, and arm signals. If you’re in a
busy place, the dog might not be able to
focus on your voice entirely because of
noise around you. This is the best part for me. Patronus is so food motivated,
which means he’s easy to train. He knows so many cool
tricks that help me out in my day to day life. Find the chair, Tronus. Good boy. Patronus loves to
find me things– people, chairs, doors,
stairs, you name it. Find the elevator, Tronus. Good boy. These dogs work so
hard to keep us safe. Before I got Patronus, I was
scared to go out by myself. I thought people
would stare at me, and I was scared
of asking for help. Patronus has given
me a confidence I never thought I’d have again. Patronus, are you
my best friend? Thank you.

3 thoughts on “Guide Dog Commands, in Edmonton

  1. Very interesting.
    Only difference in UK is we use stand instead of Halt. Steady is to slow down.
    Never heard of come around but, we do have round to turn back on ourselves.

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