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Topic: Pilot Dogs Guide Dog School
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Viewing messages 1 through 100 of 117.

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Post 1 of 117cameronjames
Newborn Zoner
4 posts
Thursday, 03-Feb-2011 17:23:35

I am currently in the process of applying for my second Guide Dog and I am applying to three places Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Pilot Dogs, Southeastern Guide Dogs. I have done some research on both Southeastern and Guide Eyes, but I know only a little bit on Pilot Dogs. Can anyone help me by giving me more information or if they have had any experience with them any feedback is appreciated.

Post 2 of 117LeoGuardian
I've broken five thousand! any more awards going?
5511 posts
Thursday, 03-Feb-2011 18:47:17

I've heard from two past students from there they distribute Doberman Pinschers.

Post 3 of 117BigDogDaddy
Help me, I'm stuck to my chair!
505 posts
Thursday, 03-Feb-2011 18:56:44

Leo, quite accurate or at least it was. When I first moved to ohio, I had a black lab from the seeing eye. My first encounter with a pilot dog was an attack by a very aggressive doberman that was later expelled from the college campus. The whole mess ended up in court, and was quite ugly, but the short of it didn't leave me with a good empression of the school. I'm very good friends with a former trainer from the school, and acording to him, in the past few years the school has discontinued trafic training for there dogs. Another strike against a school IMHO.

Post 4 of 117ThaCake
Zone BBS Addict
114 posts
Thursday, 03-Feb-2011 21:57:47

The school is crap. I urge you to look in to the seeing eye. Its the oldest school and ranked number one in america by the international guide dogs association. Pilot dog is not up to date on training techniques and methods. Their dogs are under trained and more trouble than they are help.

Post 5 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Friday, 04-Feb-2011 13:28:15

I've heard that as well.

Post 6 of 117dark sapphire
I'm going for the prolific poster awards!
1037 posts
Friday, 04-Feb-2011 13:46:36

Kayla is correct, and pilot dogs doesn't do traffic training. go somewhere else.

Post 7 of 117Musical Ambition
I've got the gold prolific poster award, now is there a gold cup for me?
4729 posts
Friday, 04-Feb-2011 15:58:23

I attended Pilot Dogs back in 1997. At that time, it was a great place. I received an amazing dog. I could not have asked for better. In fact, he is still with me today. However, when it was time for me to train with a second guide, I made the decision to go somewhere else. I spoke with the school and learned that they did change their training style. There are some things that they no longer do, and I feel that those things should continue to be included in a dog's training program.

On another note, I'm not a fan of The Seeing Eye, for reasons I won't go into here. Ultimately, though, it's your choice and your choice alone. I would definitely do deep investigation into each school. The time you spend on your research is well worth it in the end.

Post 8 of 117BigDogDaddy
Help me, I'm stuck to my chair!
505 posts
Friday, 04-Feb-2011 17:07:37

As someone who is a 3 peat grad of the seeing eye, I have great respect for their dogs, as well as training for both the dogs and students, but not necessarrally for the new generation of staff that is now in leadership. I've not had a dog guide now for 2 plus years, and have not decided where I'd like to attend if I choose to get another guide. My only attraction to the seeing eye is the length of class at this point. Becoming a new student at a different establishment and attending a full 4 week course just isn't something I have time to do, nor with all do respect do I need at this point in life. My biggest complaint at this point is much of the information out there for guide dog schools is fairly out of date and not very helpful. So I agree, ultimately you're best served by asking questions and determining what program best fits in with your needs and expectations.

Post 9 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Friday, 04-Feb-2011 22:43:11

I've heard from a couple sources that Polot Dogs has actually been targeted by animal rights groups on occasion. And while I don't necessarily always see eye to eye with those types of folks I've heard that Pilot was targeted partly due to kennel conditions.

Post 10 of 117cameronjames
Newborn Zoner
4 posts
Saturday, 05-Feb-2011 8:18:25

Okay so I have mixed reviews about Pilot mostly not so good ones. My other schools are guiding eyes for the blind, Southeastern, and through the encouragement of a friend I am applying to the seeing eye which I hope doesn't bite me in the butt because I had applied there in 2006 and had said no. I got my first dog from Fidelco Guide dog foundation and enjoyed the experience very much, but I think I want to go in a different direction. I am also applying to one last school Freedom Dogs because of their home training program. Thank you everyone for your feedback. Please feel free to reply if you have anymore advice.

Post 11 of 117cameronjames
Newborn Zoner
4 posts
Saturday, 05-Feb-2011 8:22:53

never mind on freedom dogs I don't think I want to wait up to a year and a half. lol

Post 12 of 117LeoGuardian
I've broken five thousand! any more awards going?
5511 posts
Saturday, 05-Feb-2011 16:08:24

I know a guy who went to Guide Dogs of America becue of their home training program. Not all of us could take four weeks off work unpaid to go get a pooch ... lol
Guide dogs aren't my thing but for someone who is, I'm all for a noninstitutionalized setting, as I am for most things, except maybe prisons.

Post 13 of 117singingsensation
I just keep on posting!
653 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 0:41:38

My friend, David Simpson, gets all of his guide dogs from Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York. The last dog he got he had home training. I'm also looking into schools. I'm applying for Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) in San Rafael, California, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and the Seeing Eye. I got to see what it was like to walk with someone who has a dog. Dave let me take his arm while he and his dog, Lara, a black lab/golden retriever cross, weaved their way through a fake obstacle course. It was an amazing experience!!!!!!! I used my cane to make sure that I wasn't in any other danger, because I didn't know how Lara would react to another person walking behind her. She was very calm and chill about it, and she got worried about the narrow spots, and she always stopped to make sure we were ok. Awesome!!! They also do clicker training, if you're interested. I would also recommend subscribing to the National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) listserve, found on the NFB listserve website at www.nfbnet.org
Hope this is of some help!
Macy

Post 14 of 117ThaCake
Zone BBS Addict
114 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 6:48:57

The thing i love so much about the seeing eye. Is the fact that the handler owns the dog. The seeing eye does not check up on you when ever the hell they feel like it, they only come if you call and are having difficulties. I also like the seeing eye's fees because I feel it instills some responsibility in to the handler. Also, due to the fact that they allow the handler to own the dog, their application process is more strict and tedious than that of other schools. Not to mention, the seeing eye has the best breeding program in the united states ranked by the international guide dog association. They are the only u s school that has their own geneologists on their staff. BUt I will say, it is not all about the school all the time. ITs about the puppy raisers, the trainers and the handlers. My guide dog was his puppy raisers fifteenth puppy his trainer had been training dogs for 25 years and the guy that instructed me had been an instructor for 30 years. Also, once they let you leave the school, everything is your responsibility. After your gone from the school, they cannot control your dog for you, you have to do that yourself. A great dog, no matter what school they are from, could be ruined in a matter of a week by a bad handler.

Post 15 of 117contradiction
Zone BBS Addict
113 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 7:42:18

Well, the thing I've heard and love about Guiding Eyes is that you get to meet your puppy raisers. I know many people who got their dogs from Guiding Eyes and love them to death, and, most importantly, have had no problems with them. Best of luck.

Post 16 of 117dark sapphire
I'm going for the prolific poster awards!
1037 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 8:51:40

Thank you Kayla. Agreed. Seeing eye is where I'm going to get my dog.

Post 17 of 117BigDogDaddy
Help me, I'm stuck to my chair!
505 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 9:30:49

@ post 14, I'd disagree a bit with the greatness of the breeding program at TSE. Over the past 5 years or so many of the sheps bred have had various allergies and other issues that it seems to me could be dealt with considering they do much of their own breeding. It's one of my major concerns that is pushing me away from returning actually.

Post 18 of 117ThaCake
Zone BBS Addict
114 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 10:29:33

Last post before mine. Everyone has difficulties with their shepherds. The seeing eye actually just got a new line of verry good shepherds in june. . And, considering that they, along with like 2 others, are the only schools that still breed shepherds, you can't really be too picky about shepherds.

Post 19 of 117BigDogDaddy
Help me, I'm stuck to my chair!
505 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 12:00:01

Yes, you can be picky, when you invest weeks of training time plus years of team work, only to have a dog that needs to be with the vet monthly trust me, you can be picky. I think I'd rather them not offer sheps rather than offer a group of sheps that have very similar health issues for a few years straight. For the record my last guide was second generation shep from Germany so on the surface, a very good blood line. As I said previously, I'm a three time grad of the seeing eye going back to the 90's and I absolutely love there training program and the way things are done, but my last experience was enough to make me reconsider and look somewhere else.

Post 20 of 117Musical Ambition
I've got the gold prolific poster award, now is there a gold cup for me?
4729 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 12:38:44

The Seeing Eye is not the only school that has their own breed stock program. Also, there are other schools out there that allow you to meet the puppy raisers.

Post 21 of 117ThaCake
Zone BBS Addict
114 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 12:39:57

One experience with one dog, turned you off of one school? hmmm. so supposing you pick another school, and the dog you get from them is horrible, then what? you just run through all the schools? Didn't claim they were perfect, and, that is the problem, many blind people search for a school that is perfect. Every school has its failures and successes.

Post 22 of 117Musical Ambition
I've got the gold prolific poster award, now is there a gold cup for me?
4729 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 12:49:25

I agree. Every single time I talk with people about choosing a guide dog school, it seems that they are looking for absolutely perfect, and that's just not going to happen . . . anywhere. That's one reason why I put a lot of emphasis on research. Ask questions. It is so vitally important that you do. You have to do what you can to get to know the staff, learn what you can about the program, including breeding, training, ownership, whether or not financial support is offered if ever needed, what the school's relationship with a graduating student is like, whether or not the school will send a representative to you if you need any kind of help, etc. You have to get a good idea of what that school is all about. It really helps you in deciding whether or not their program is right for you. I hear of so many people who automatically choose one or two schools over others, simply because others told them to. They don't do any kind of research or anything. "Well, if it's one of the more popular schools, then it will work for me." No, it doesn't always work that way.

Post 23 of 117BigDogDaddy
Help me, I'm stuck to my chair!
505 posts
Tuesday, 08-Feb-2011 13:38:58

At post 21, again, I've been working dogs for nearly 18 years from one school by the way, so I have a very good grasp of the process. Without giving too much back story, it was actually two dogs in a row that turned me off to a school. After training in July, having to return by the first of October, and then getting a second dog that clearly had health issues prior to me taking the dog with me. Yes, that can certainly turn someone off. I know where you're coming from, I've had hundreds of discussions/arguments over the years defending everything that the school has done, and trust me, I'm not knocking the school, I'm simpley saying just because it's the oldest and You fill in the blank doesn't make it the end all say all, and my experiences just opened my eyes that perhaps there is something out there that better meets my needs. If you read my earlier posts I never said I was going to pick another school, I said I'm actually researching what's out there to determined if another program would work better for me.
it's extremely significant to ask questions and make sure a program works for you. Just cause there is a familiarity with a particular institution doesn't necessarrally make it the right/or wrong place. As blind professionals, we are looking for well trained disciplined guides that are not only matched well, but fit in to our lifestyle. Which actually was the original focus of this particular board topic. Personally, I have a family and a very busy life, and to return to a school for a 3 week program, doesn't appeal to me at this point. Thus, the program offered at TSE obviously won't work for me, so it's benificial to determine if there is A something else that would work, or B, choose not work a guide at this point in life.
Take it for what it's worth.

Post 24 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 9:04:29

Like I said the three schools I'm considering, and this is after having had many opportunities to meet different people from most if not all of them, are Guiding Eyes, Guide Dog FOundation and Leaderdogs. I twice met a rep from the Seeing Eye and the impression I always got from her and from actually reading up on their web site was that they seemed a little full of themselves. Keep in mind this is just my personal observation. To each his or her own. But I wouldn't go through Seeing Eye not merely because I'd like the chance to meet and possibly keep in touch with the folks who puppy raised my dog but also because it seems like the school is almost secretive about the fact that you were getting a dog, as though it were a shameful act. It's not really the dog fee since that's actually quite reasonable and easy to save up for even for someone on SSI. I just never liked the school from the research I've done over the years. And I've never gotten the feeling that the other schools "check up on you whenever the hell they feel like it." They follow up with you, yes, but they don't come unless you ask for it.

Post 25 of 117dark sapphire
I'm going for the prolific poster awards!
1037 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 9:51:31

You need to find the program for you.
What I really really like with seeing eye is the fact to own the dog as soon as you leave. I also like their Youth seminar. That seminar helped me make my final decition to get a dog. I liked walking with an actual dog not just a juno walk. It made me feel much confidenter and I was able to travel the speed I love.

Post 26 of 117ThaCake
Zone BBS Addict
114 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 10:05:43

leader dogs? wow good luck with that one. its ranked just above pilot dogs by the international guide dog association. not a good school really.

Post 27 of 117Musical Ambition
I've got the gold prolific poster award, now is there a gold cup for me?
4729 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 11:33:51

And is this your judgment strictly based on what others say? I can personally attest to how great of a school Leader is. I attended their school for the first time last summer, and I can tell you that they do everything they can to make sure that their program meets standards and to make sure that each student gets a very well-trained and qualified dog. They take great care of their dogs and students.

So-called rankings don't mean crap to me. What matters is your own personal investigation, your questions, your research, and, most of all, your experience. If you personally haven't attended a particular school, then it's really not fair for you to judge. Now, if you met with and spoken with someone from that school and didn't feel like it was the right choice for you, that's obviously fine. But, dont' base your decision on "rankings." It's already been said that whoever does these rankings hasn't done one in a long time, so don't be so quick to judge something, especially if you don't have any personal reasoning for doing so.

Post 28 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 11:54:00

I couldn't agree more.

Post 29 of 117dark sapphire
I'm going for the prolific poster awards!
1037 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 11:58:08

I've heard iffy things about leader dogs.

Post 30 of 117LeoGuardian
I've broken five thousand! any more awards going?
5511 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 12:02:16

Why so much defensiveness when someone gives a school less than a five-star rating? And all the constant montra-diatribe of "you have to pick the one that's right for you",
Well, what you guide dog people on here are doing by being honest, is the same as what people do when they buy things on Amazon or anyplace else, giving ratings. Glad when I went to get some power source solutions I didn't have to wade through diatribe after montra of "you have to pick the one that's right for you" or "all power sources are good in their various ways".
Hell even when getting a new router when my old one pooped out, I switched brands because of the reviews I'd been reading of my fav within the price range, and their newer models tending to drop packets a lot. And I'd been a buyer of their wireless solutions since wireless was, and been a customer of theirs since before some of you were even thought of.
And yes, one experience can put you off an entire product line, at least for awhile. Why not? You guide dog people are the best handlers of dogs out there, save maybe similar people like police and rescue canine handlers and the like, so the fact you are selective about where you acquire your dog from is to me, totally and completely understandable, to say nothing of being the most responsible thing you could do.
I obviously haven't had one, but looking on Google, I saw it requires you to take four weeks off from work - twice many people's yearly vacation time - and naturally you're getting a working animal, so considering you want something stout and healthy is a judgment call you should make. Also, these dogs are what? $20,000 dogs, once you finish with their training and everything? You don't think police departments and others who are handlers are selective about where they acquire their canines from?
So at least from me, those of you seeking out real merit-based reviews of possible schools, you got my support, and most probably the support of most people who know you're going to make that level of investment. I think they ought to have a Consumer Reports of these sorts of places, let the best ones win. The competition is probably fierce: Seems there are a lot of them. Probably some do better than others in turning out guides who work in different places.
That's why you read the best and the worst reviews, and the most well-written review is one that tells you the the use the reviewer put the product to. If their use matches yours, you're likely to agree.
So if you're on the go a lot, in a big city, and a school turned out a product that was compatible with your use, and gave it a five-star, you're likely to take that review quite seriously.
I just find it totally unjustifiable and weird that with dog guide schools, and more generally blindy products, people get really defensive about any sort of merit-based reviewing. That way "we're all winners" and consumers are losers, I guess.

Post 31 of 117Musical Ambition
I've got the gold prolific poster award, now is there a gold cup for me?
4729 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 12:36:42

It doesn't matter which school you look at. Every single one of them is going to have both great and bad stories. So, you've heard iffy things about a particular school? Well, guess what. I have, too, but I've also heard things about all the other schools as well. One school that works for one person isn't necessarily going to work for the next.

And, as far as the constant, "You have to pick the school that's right for you", truly does apply here. You don't just run your finger down a page that lists each school and go to the one that your finger lands on. There is a lot of research involved in this, and if you are smart, you will do that research.

I'm just not buying into the whole "rankings" type deal. A survey hasnt' been done in years, so you can't fairly justify your decision based on what was said years ago. Yes, you can take what people say into consideration, but your decision should not be solely based on those opinions. That does not give you an excuse to not do your own thorough research.

Post 32 of 117LeoGuardian
I've broken five thousand! any more awards going?
5511 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 13:34:16

People asking questions, valid questions, about dog schools or anything else on here or anyplace else, are doing their research. "You have to pick the one that's right for you," is just trying to thwart real research.
After all, how do you know what's "right for you" without getting both good and bad reviews of places from users? You see both good and bad stories about every single thing I can imagine, so why would a guide dog school be any different? $20,000 investment here. Automobiles get good and bad reviews all the time, people read all these reviews plus consumer reports, and make decisions.
This insular and boutique mentality would have me running away from the very thought of a guide dog purchase if I were initially considering it to begin with.
Truth? Not all products are winners, not all products are even halfway decent, and not all deserve merit.
I'm glad when I switched router brands, at least for now, I didn't get some weird off-the-wall response like the earlier post asking if that meant the consumer was going to go to every brand now. That's just out there. I dare not say I've seen it all now, as people can always get more strange / out there, but I guess any insular boutique environment could potentially do this.
In summation, real results and real ratings are a part of how the user / consumer finds, if you want to put it this way, "the product that's right for them."
Amazon knows it, Newegg knows it, every shopping site out there knows it, and has a rather open rating process. Arguing against such a process by saying there are good and bad stories from all competitors, is silly beyond all description. Especially for such a high-dollar, high-maintenance product for which you must change your entire lifestyle to maximize its usefulness and its needs / comfort. That argument against ratings and users looking at the reviews of other people while at the same time "picking the one that's right for them" is at its core logically flawed.

Post 33 of 117BigDogDaddy
Help me, I'm stuck to my chair!
505 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 17:15:25

Problem is much of what we have going on above is from A. folks who've never worked a guide, so we get second/third hand answers of my friend told me or B. folks who've worked a guide for a very limited time which means they have a very small sample of what a program actually offers as well as the quality of dog guide they have. I'm often amused at the level of expertise one ascends to after having a guide from a particular place for a few weeks/months. It's not typically until a year or two later until you actually know what kind of product or match you’re actually working with.
Not surprisingly though, a zone board has veered off topic, and you have the focus of the original posters question quite buried in a diatribe of conjecture and fairly loosely related content.

Post 34 of 117RissBits
Zone BBS is my Life
292 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 19:17:39

the seeing eye is so amazing. I agree with Kayla. I love owning my dog, who is a very healthy and well bred shepherd by the way, and the trainers and staff are amazing. Kayla is right the student selection is a bit more strict than most other schools which I like to. and I didn't mind paying it was cheap as hell and I love my shep so so so much. I'll deffenetly go back, and I deffenetly recommend. it. my dog has no alergies or health issues so. yep. the american kennel club hates guidedog schools but they had to admit as much as they hated to that the seeing eye has some of the best working bread not show shepherds in the world. they have been sending sheps to guidedog schools in japan and other countries to help them with their lines of sheps so.

Post 35 of 117Stormwing
I'll have the last word, thank you!
927 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 20:36:41

And I guess this is one of the biggest issues. I've done a good amount of research on this subject, but We really don't have any hard info to compare things to, because in most cases, for every good story, we've got one bad. For every good experience someone's had, we've got one bad. This even applies to staff from many schools. I've met staff who work for many schools and haven't had any issues, bbut others have. When you're putting so much on the line, its frankly alittle hard to know you're making the absolute best choice when it comes to many of these schools. More often than not, when you're speaking to many people about the school they picked, they do all possible to overlook/ignore things they didn'tlike, exadurating on the value of one particular bit of a program.
On the other side of the fense, we've got people that exadurate based on the bad experiences they've been threw.
While in many cases it is true that when their's smoke, their's usually a fire, you really can't ignore that not all that much information exists that really effectively does the following.
1. provides a complete and organized way of comparing schools.
2. Gives people who have actually attended the schools the ability to rate and review each school.
3. provides an open forum so to speak that encourages all who work for a school/use a dog/prospective students to voice their comments, ask questions and help others.
While something like this is no substitute for making ones choice,I still think it would help many who are on the fense about anissue or another get threw the bius and find answers they seak with out all the extra energy it often takes just to get one question or point cleared up. I also believe it would make it easier for many who are just rushing into the process to find information that might open their eyes.

Post 36 of 117RissBits
Zone BBS is my Life
292 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 21:48:27

I agree. it is very hard to get facts. cause there is people that love things and peple that hate those same things. it would be nice to have something more helpful. there was a book called a guide to guide dog schools but it is old and out of date. something like that needs to be updated regularly. things change often

Post 37 of 117ThaCake
Zone BBS Addict
114 posts
Wednesday, 09-Feb-2011 23:21:10

Meets standards? is this what u want? A school that meets standards? shouldn't u want one that surpasses them? Oh well. I mean to each his own. But there is something in those rankings. They don't just draw names out of a hat and stack them until they get to the top. There is a reason they are ranked. Anyways, i've already admitted that everyone loves their school and will defend them to the utmost. But thing is, seeing eye has the stats to defend them too. Top 3 schools in the nation are Seeing Eye, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and Guiding Eyes hands down. The rankings say so, the stats say so, the students say so, and most of all, their dogs performance and behavior says so.

Post 38 of 117Stormwing
I'll have the last word, thank you!
927 posts
Thursday, 10-Feb-2011 5:22:57

I think its genraly bad form for a handeler to lettheir dog go lax, because it reflects poorly on the school they got the dog from. For better or worse.
I will admit, kayla does seem to be right, I've met teams from most of the schools, and on the hole, better dogs come from those 3, or mabie i've just seensome of the more careless from the others?

Post 39 of 117Musical Ambition
I've got the gold prolific poster award, now is there a gold cup for me?
4729 posts
Thursday, 10-Feb-2011 14:46:43

You're right. A lot of the issues that we all see isn't because of problems with one school over another; it's because of the handler. There are a lot of people who just let everything go lax, and we all know that causes a lot of problems.

And, yes, I said "meets standards" instead of "surpasses standards." I didn't know that everything I was saying here was going to be taken so literally. Would you rather that I said "surpass?" OK then. Yes, I feel that my personal experience at a particular school did surpass standards. I've been working with guide dogs for 14 years, and, yes, I do feel that my most recent experience at a specific school was a great one and will share my story with anyone who asks. Does this mean that a person should automatically choose said school simply because I said so? Simply because I had a great experience? No. Does this mean that said school is perfect and does absolutely everything right? No, of course not. There isn't a school that does. I just wanted to share my own personal thoughts and opinions. For example, take the first school I attended. I loved it. I had a great time and received one of the most amazing dogs a person could ever ask for. However, times have changed. They have changed their program and I no longer feel that I would receive a dog that did surpass standards.

As for the rankings, we all know that a survey has not been conducted in years (or at least that we can find ), so it's not wise to focus so much on how things were back then. Time passes. Things change. If a school truly cares about their program, their students, and their dogs, then they will always be on the lookout for ideas, suggestions and opinions on what improvements they can make. Just because one school didn't seem so great five, ten, fifteen years ago, doesn't mean that they are incapable of making improvements and being much better now. If one school seems great now, that doesn't mean that it will continue to be in the future. Things happen.

I'm not here to put down a school just because I don't like it or feel that it's not the right match for me. It seems, though, that there are a lot of people who do this. If you don't go to the same school as they did, then your choice of school is automatically wrong. Of course, if a person has a wonderful experience with a school, they will stand up for that school, but this doesn't mean that another person's choice for not attending the same school is wrong. I have seen both great and not-so-great dogs come from many schools, and, yes, this does include the Seeing Eye, the oldest school in the country. No one can pinpoint one particular school as being perfect in every way. That will never happen. You just never know what will come up. As a previous post said, it oftentimes takes at least six months to a year to really see what type of dog you have. There are also other factors that come into play. For instance, I know several people who went to the Seeing Eye and Guiding Eyes, but had to return their shepherds because of unforseen health issues. I know a few people who also received labs, and are facing health issues. Does this mean that you shouldn't go to either school? Does this mean that they are bad choices? Of course not.

As for my saying you have to do research, blah, blah, blah, I stand by what I said. I'm not sure why someone would say that advice like that thwarts real research, but...

. I didn't say that the original poster of this topic was wrong for asking questions and seeking the opinions of others. In fact, I think it's very smart for one to do. It's as you say; we all read reviews on all kinds of products to help with our decision-making, and this is no different. All I'm saying is that you can't just focus solely on what others say. You also have to speak with the schools and learn what you can from them.

Post 40 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Monday, 14-Feb-2011 15:01:31

That's exactly why I've chosen the three schools I have. Because of all the schools I've spoken with, and i have spoken with quite a few, they are the most appealing. Just becausse Seeing Eye happens to be the oldest school in the US doesn't mean it's the best. I based mydecision on the vibe I got from the various reps I've talked to rom the schools and I didn't get a good vibe from Seeing Eye.

Post 41 of 117turricane
happiness and change are choices
1176 posts
Tuesday, 22-Feb-2011 15:10:44

as for the taking four weeks off to get a dog at a new school, I just went through guide dogs for the blind
s three week program and was extremely satisfied. the caliber of instruction was excellent and i didn't have a lot of down time. truly it was a wonderful experience.

Post 42 of 117turricane
happiness and change are choices
1176 posts
Tuesday, 22-Feb-2011 15:11:56

one more thought i would worry about a school if the first thing or wa-a-a-ay up at the top of the list was that the rooms have tv. if i am in a program to learn i just want to sleep in my room and have the rest of my day somewhere else.

Post 43 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Tuesday, 22-Feb-2011 21:44:33

Just because the rooms have TV doesn't mean you HAVE to use it. It's there in case you WANT it.

Post 44 of 117Lisa's Girl forever
Help me, I'm stuck to my chair!
507 posts
Saturday, 26-Mar-2011 11:11:15

I don't disagree. or agree.. I got a vary good guidedog from Pioltdogs.. we've been together since. 2009.. i'm vary happy with the program. smile. and the staff is wonderful!!!

Post 45 of 117Lisa's Girl forever
Help me, I'm stuck to my chair!
507 posts
Saturday, 26-Mar-2011 11:11:40

Post 46 of 117Stormwing
I'll have the last word, thank you!
927 posts
Saturday, 26-Mar-2011 14:07:02

Uh, blank post, really?

But getting back on topic, As i'm honestly thinking of getting a guide dog, its good to hear from as many people as possible about what they went threw. Thanks for taking the time to share your stories, as they all help when picking schools and the like.

Post 47 of 117Blue Velvet
I've got the platinum golden silver bronze poster award.
7247 posts
Saturday, 26-Mar-2011 16:54:23

I have never had a guide dog and probably never will, but I do have an opinion about Pilot Dogs you might be interested in. I live in Columbus where Pilot Dogs is located. As an employee of a rehab center for the blind, I saw many people with dogs from Pilot Dogs come through our rehab services. A few of them seemed like good dog handlers, but honestly, there were many who didn't seem to have a clue about mobility or how to best utilize their dogs. I saw people who didn't know their right from their left and always told their dog the wrong direction and then yanked on the harness and yelled at the dog when he or she started to lead them in the wrong direction. I also remember a client whose dog kept having accidents inside the building because she did not take him out to take care of business on any kind of regular schedule simply because she was too lazy to do so. I couldn't possibly recommend a guide dog school that lets students go home with a dog when that student can't travel independently before they get the dog or know how to responsibly correct a dog if it does make a mistake. And when the mistake is really the handller's fault, not the dogs, that person should not have a dog in my opinion.

Post 48 of 117Stormwing
I'll have the last word, thank you!
927 posts
Saturday, 26-Mar-2011 17:47:46

I'll be honest, I've seen more of the above bad side than good from this school.
Many dogs i've met from here either have bad manners/habbits themselves, or should never have been issued to the handlers they have. Many of these dogs piss and shit anywhere and everywhere. Which is particularly annoying when someones dog does this at a convension or such. I can't believe some people just don't care at all, and that the school has a reccord of mixxed teams, some verry good, others just not.

Post 49 of 117THE SWEET AND SEXY AGNES
Newborn Zoner
2 posts
Sunday, 03-Apr-2011 20:02:32

I have a dog from pilet and he is a great dog. He never goes to the bathroom in public places. Pretty soon, I will have to get a new dog cause he is allmost 10. He's the best.

Post 50 of 117THE SWEET AND SEXY AGNES
Newborn Zoner
2 posts
Sunday, 03-Apr-2011 20:06:00

I got my first dog from Leader and it didn't work out for me because I did not receive much city travel but when I went to pilet, city travel every single day. My dog from Leader did go to the bathroom any place he felt like it and he was not trained well at all.

Post 51 of 117Gracesong
Zone BBS is my Life
267 posts
Monday, 04-Apr-2011 5:02:37

Out of curiosity, why is Leader Dogs rated so badly, just above Pilot?

Post 52 of 117cameronjames
Newborn Zoner
4 posts
Wednesday, 08-Jun-2011 22:13:57

Hey everybody,
Just wanted to give an update on my post I got accepted to my top choice Guiding Eyes for the Blind I leave in 5 weeks and I am so excited and can't wait!!!!! thanks everyone for the input and comments.

Post 53 of 117Reyami
I've got the gold prolific poster award, now is there a gold cup for me?
4627 posts
Friday, 10-Jun-2011 10:08:29

Congratulations. Please keep us posted on how things are going in training with your new dog when you are able.

Post 54 of 117Songbird83
the Zone BBS remains forever my home page
161 posts
Sunday, 24-Jul-2011 18:57:34

Wow, so much talk on guide dogs. It kind of reminds me of my guide dog group I host, but there is no school bashing. No, we don't agree with what each other might do with our dogs, but as long as you're happy with the school you went to, and got a good match, then that's the only thing that matters. We all joke and say, I've got the best, no I've got the best. The key is, we each have what's best for each of us, no matter what school it is. I personally went to The Seeing Eye. I did have a bad experience with a shepherd. I think it was partially stress related, and health related. But I went back in July of 2010, and got a great little black lab, and I love her. I was considering not going back to Seeing Eye, but my first guide was wonderful who was a male cross, and I figured, if my next one doesn't work, then we'll see. But this little girl loves her job, and she's so sweet and there's much more positive than negative about her. So she's worth keeping around. I tell everyone to try to look into the schools. Call them up, ask questions, or write to them if you have to. Whoever you feel the most comfortable with, apply to and see what happens. If any of you are interested, I host a guide dog group where we talk about all these things. The group is full of nice people, and we're like family and get along great. The only rules are to respect each other, and no school bashing. So if you'd like to join us, please write me and I'll give you the info. It'd be great to have as many schools represented.
But I love having a dog, and couldn't ask for anything better than the wonderful bond, great partnership, and someone who is constantly with you. And no matter what happens, they're always there for you and love you unconditionally. So good luck to all of you who are thinking about getting dogs. You won't want to turn back to the cane once you've done it.

Post 55 of 117jen91_09
Zone BBS is my Life
256 posts
Friday, 28-Oct-2011 11:17:04

Agree. I can't imagine using a cane full time after having my dog for 3 years+!
O and to the last poster can you send me the list info? thanks! :)

Post 56 of 117PinaColada
I've now got the bronze prolific poster award! now going for the silver award!
1622 posts
Tuesday, 01-Nov-2011 1:10:44

i dont understand how the ownership dog should determine a school is good or not. Yes, it will be great if you have the whole ownership of the dog, but then what? IF you own a poor behave and train dog guide then what? What happen if the dog is ill or need some medical attention, who gonna pay for that.
Good thing and correct me if i'm wrong here is that with guidedogs ownership on the dog itself, at least, in some way, i think its like an insurance for the client. if the dog turn up somewhat having some tough behaviour, or in some point she or he needs some medical tratement, you do not need to worry about the cost and stress that will involve. Yes, someone might look at your shoulder every now and then to make sure you and your dog partnership is well. And i dont see a problem with that. It also somewhat prevent abusive behaviour from the owner itself. I see it happen, where the dog guide got shaft in the corner, abusing by the user in so many way that i truely feel that the user shouldn't been issue a dog to start with.
After all, i appreciate every bit of time i can spend with instructor, during follow ups and so on to go thru things that i think i may be wrong, or some negative behaviour the dog or me may have pick up from somewhare else.
The contact i have with the instructor is essential to me. And if the dog meant to be the property of the guidedog school, so be it.

I got so many complains from countless guidedog users about how some school who doesn't care about the user or the dog after the initial training itself,. The initial training is great, but, the follow ups after training is also essential. Some behaviour can be corrected if its early enough, but if a dog has pick that up somewhare, and the owner didn't realize it, and the school or the instructor didn't know about it, it can be somewhat a little too late in some situation.

Post 57 of 117Lisa's Girl forever
Help me, I'm stuck to my chair!
507 posts
Wednesday, 02-Nov-2011 7:48:53

i've had a positive experence with my guide dog.- i've had my guide dog 4 two years.- well.- i agree.- my dog is a good girl 4 me.-

Post 58 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Friday, 04-Nov-2011 22:37:10

Buttercup I think it all comes down to personal preference. Some people would prefer to have outright ownership of their dogs. I could care less so long as the school's terms are reasonable.

Post 59 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Thursday, 23-Feb-2012 10:28:40

A couple of things: I have a Pilet guide dog here with me right now, and he's just absolutely wonderful! I'm not just saying that because he's my dog, I'm saying this because it's true! I wouldn't have taken him home with me if he wasn't a safe dog for me. I have five friends not including me who all have Pilot dogs, and all six of them, including mine, are all remarkable dogs. Another thing is that Pilot does do trafffic checks. A lot of schools will take their cars in their fasility and drive their cars up to the dogs really fast to teach them "inteligent disobedience." Pilot does not do that. They've explained why they don't do it. To find out why, give them a call. (614)221-6367. What they do do instead is, they go out on to the streets and use the cars not in their fasility. They use the cars from other people in the streets in real time. This is called a natural traffic check. The dogs are trained to disobey a command if it is unsafe. The dogs know instinctually what they have to do as well. They don't want to get hit by cars either. They take their jobs vary seriously. Finally, I think that it is wrong of someone to negatively critasize another school, especially if you haven't been there yourself to experience it, and even more so because every school is going to be a little different; just like every person and dog is going to be a little different. Each school is going to train a little differently. They'll have their own commands and ways that they do things. I think that it's really important to not only hear other people's experiences at different schools, but even more important to call and do your own research, ask a lot of questions, and find out what really works for you. Also, I think that a lot of people come back from training, no matter what school they choose, and expect that the dog is going to be perfect. We're not perfect, and neither is your dog. Expecting that is not only so unfair to them, but unfair to the whole team. It's not all on the dog. We as guide dog users and individuals, also have a responsability to keep ourselves and our dogs safe as well. As I said, it's a team effort, therefore, you both have to do the work. I love Pilot Dogs, and will definitely go back for my next dog when the time is right, but my dog is 2 now, and will be 3 On July 1! So I have a good long time before I have to worry about that! All I know is that I have a wonderful dog who does the job for me. Isn't that all that matters? I definitley think so!

Post 60 of 117Sarah92
Account disabled
16 posts
Tuesday, 28-Feb-2012 17:44:25

To post 59, what breed of dog do you have?? That is so cool!

Post 61 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Thursday, 15-Mar-2012 13:25:50

My question is if anyone's actually bothered to do any up-to-date surveys of these different schools. My guess is probably not.

Post 62 of 117hardyboy09
my ISP would be out of business if it wasn't for this haven I live at
478 posts
Friday, 23-Mar-2012 3:17:55

Hello All,

I read several of the posts that are here regarding this topic. Having never worked a guide, I can't really judge any school.

I don't think Leader Dogs is a bad school. In fact, I applied their, but the reason I decided not to attend is the fact that they do not offer a program for individuals who are both hearing impaired and blind. They only offer a program for the completely deaf blind.

On the other hand, Guiding Eyes, in New York, offers a Special Needs Program for people who are blind and hearing impaired. I am currently attending college, and would enjoy working a dog guide, because it would be easier to navigate campus. In June, I am leaving for Guiding Eyes to get my first dog. I am very nervous and apprehensive having never worked a dog. I know they have a match for me, as they confirmed it over Spring Break from my college.
So, as in my case, people really do need to choose the school that best meets his or her needs. For example, when I can't hear traffic, Guiding Eyes has to train the dog to work with crossing cards. If anyone has ever owned a dog while in college, I would love to know your stories/advice etc. Actually, I would like to know how a dog and a roommate are really going to work for me? Housing keeps telling me that there are no single rooms available. What a bunch of crap.

Post 63 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Saturday, 31-Mar-2012 0:05:54

I've been interested in getting a guide dog since I was fourteen, now just about eighteen years ago. The main reason I don't have one is I want to be sure I can care for him or her financially before I make that commitment. And I've got a cat who isn't a doggie sort of kitty. But I'm glad I didn't get a guide while I was staying at the dorms in college. Because there would've been no way I could have kept a dog in the closet they called a room.

Post 64 of 117wild orca
Zone BBS Addict
140 posts
Wednesday, 30-May-2012 13:26:14

I got all three of my dogs from Guide Dogs of America. While my first dog didn't work out, my other two have been wonderful. I'm currently on my third dog now, and am very happy with him. Though I love GDA, and will keep going back, there are things that could improve. Not evry school is perfect, but I think each school does the best they can. When you go to any school, you have to be commited to that dog for a long time. If you aren't commited, you shouldn't have a guide dog.

Post 65 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Wednesday, 30-May-2012 18:00:51

That's what made me so angry about a former friend of mine. She's the only blind person I know in this area who's even close to my age (a few years younger). But she went on and on about how she wanted a guide dog for all the freedom it would allow her. So she applied to and was accepted to Guide Dogs for the Blind in California. They paired her with a Black Lab. Well not two weeks went by and she called me to say she was home and that she didn't get a guide dog. Her exact words, aside from saying it's harder than you think, were "I don't wanna be a babysitter for this damn dog." She claims, although I have extreme difficulty believing this to be even remotely true, they didn't tell her that the dog is with you 24/7. They never make a secret of that fact, so it angered me, and that's putting it mildly, that she would make such a claim when they state on the school's web sites and during the application process that the dog is going to be by your side constantly except in special situations where it might not be feasible to bring him or her. But Marie wanted the freedom of the guide dog but not the responsibility. She kept going on about how "it wasn't what I expected, " while never giving a straight answer when asked what she did! expect.

Post 66 of 117wild orca
Zone BBS Addict
140 posts
Wednesday, 30-May-2012 18:40:47

I completely understand where your coming from. Looking back on the experence, I'm not proud that GDA let me go through the program, but I did learn a lot in the process. Because of what happened with me, GDA has changed things a lot. Even though they have their problems, I think most schools try to let the right people get a dog, sometimes not knowing the true personality of the person until they leave the school. I can't believe your friend acted like that! I can tell you, that I'm pretty sure that school told her she'd be with the dog 24-7.

Post 67 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Thursday, 31-May-2012 7:44:00

Of course they did. If I'm not mistaken it's right there on the web site and they would certainly have told her during the application process before even accepting her to the scool. Not only that but whenthey used o send field epresentatives to public and blind schools (GDB has apparently not done that for some years), those reps make the situation clear during teir presetations. M guess is that Marie just sort of bluffed her way through te interviews, then got cold feet when she realized it couldn't just be an idle promise. Nor would it be the first time she'd done something like that.

Post 68 of 117Texas Shawn
I'll have the last word, thank you!
987 posts
Thursday, 31-May-2012 12:06:34

Marie sounds like an idiot!

Post 69 of 117wild orca
Zone BBS Addict
140 posts
Thursday, 31-May-2012 12:55:19

Unfortanately, there are those who want a dog, but don't really need one. I've run in to a few of those. They think a dog would be cool, but when they realize what it intales, they just back out. I feel really bad for the trainers and dog when this happens, because they put a lot of time and effort in to training these dogs. I hope that Marie's dog was able to get rematched with someone who would love it and treat it well.

Post 70 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Thursday, 31-May-2012 16:05:55

So do I. The ironic part is that she got on me for not having a guide dog since it was "so easy." Kept asking why aren't you in guide dog school, huh? huh? huh? I need hardly say she didn't even let me get a word in edgeways. As I've said the main reason I haven't made a second attempt at applying is because I realize my financial situation may not be conducive to having a guide dog. And the reason I hadn't applied back then was because I was going to college and staying in the dorms. Oh I'd certainly have been allowed to have my dog there, but there'd have been no way in hell I could've kept a gide dog in the closet they called a room. But I don't think Marie wanted to hear any reasons that might bebetter than hers. AgainI can understand someone deciding a guide dog isn't right for them. Hell, I might disocver that same thing about myself. But to talk so callously about the dog just pissed me off.

Post 71 of 117wild orca
Zone BBS Addict
140 posts
Thursday, 31-May-2012 17:27:07

Well you not wanting a dog for financhal reasons was very responsable of you. Money's tight for me to, but I've found a way to aford one. That's only because I get help from the government through a program for service dogs. Since this program is only in California, I can imagine how hard it must be for some people to aford them. Dogs aren't for evry one, and people need to realize that. While I'd never go back to a cane perminantly, I don't try to convince people that guide dogs are the only way to go.

Post 72 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Thursday, 31-May-2012 22:45:12

I'm also a little concerned because I do have a cat, and his past experiences with dogs have been, although harmless, unpleasant ones, for him at least. Granted a guide dog would be better trained tan an ordinary house pet and would therefore be less likely to just chase after a cat. I guess I'd ust have to make sure there was a place for Max to go where he could feel safe during the transitional period.

Post 73 of 117wild orca
Zone BBS Addict
140 posts
Thursday, 31-May-2012 23:10:38

When I got my second guide dog, I got Cassie a few months after I got home with him, so they grew up together. When I brought Tripp home (my third guide), seven months ago, Cassie actually made the first move, and when he licked her she ran. Now she'll get close to him, but if he licks her she'll only back away a little bit or just stay in one place. Cats can adapt, but it has to be done gradually.

Post 74 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Friday, 01-Jun-2012 13:49:45

Well Max is four. That might be a problem. Smile.

Post 75 of 117wild orca
Zone BBS Addict
140 posts
Friday, 01-Jun-2012 14:49:13

Yeah, could be. But I know someone who got their first guide, and their Cat's 17. That cat's never been around dogs before. In the end though, it's up to the person whether they want a dog, and should never be forced in to getting one. Believe me I know from experence.

Post 76 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Friday, 01-Jun-2012 18:22:27

Oh I agree. That's one reason why I'm not looking forward to a visit from a particular aunt this summer and, if at all possible, my mother and I are going to avoid it. But tis aunt and her daughters puppy raised guide dogs for some years, more for the appearance it would give them than anything else I suspect, and they kept nagging me to go to guide dog school so they could raise my dog. They seemed to have this view that only a dog they'd raised would be good for me. Personally I'd be worried about that seeing as they have some peculiar beliefs about what it means to be a guide dog and/or guide dog handler. One of the more absurd tings they ad my mom thinking for a while was that guide dogs aren't allowed to play...ever. It took a while for me to set my mom straight on that one.

Post 77 of 117AutumnLibra
Newborn Zoner
1 posts
Thursday, 14-Mar-2013 16:47:45

A first-time guide dog handler, I have a standard poodle, Cooper, from Pilot. He works very well & never has accidents. My husband, however, is on his 3rd guide dog, 2nd from Pilot Dogs, & the 2nd doberman. He is a strict & fair handler, & has great control of his doberman, Charley. The dogs at Pilot, in our opinions are well trained, however, the screening process for students is more flexible than some other schools. I wanted a poodle, as I have mild alergies & I work as a massage therapist (poodles are hypoalergenic). I applied to 3 schools which offer poodles, & the other 2 required videos as a part of the application process. I found this difficult to acomplish. Pilot's accomodations are less posh, from what I can tell, than some other schools. They keep their training costs down; you might have a room mate, no double bed, no tv in your room. Seriously, tho, it was a month out of my life, & ai have a wonderfully trained & intuitive smart & willling dog. I wouldn't have done anything differently. We received our dogs just last summer. You have a main trainer, of course, but you are exposed to several different trainers with different advice & input, & there are always people more than happy to answer questions & help. I think the more lenient student selection process results in some dogs going with students who may have dificulty keeping the dog's taining up. They do, however, keep students longer if they are unable to pass their test. Altho the traffic check issue had changed, believe me, in the conditions of Pilot Dogs' training areas, there will be insidental traffic checks, cars going at the wrong time, allowing students to experience his/her dog's ability to evaluate & make decisions.

Post 78 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Saturday, 23-Mar-2013 3:56:43

Pilot's one of the schools I'll probably apply to if/when I decide to make another attempt. I read the info ont heir web site and it they do sound like a decent scool.

Post 79 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Tuesday, 16-Apr-2013 0:19:32

Here's a link to a website that explains a little bit about Pilot Dogs and their whole training process of their school.

http://www.daily-jeff.com/local%20news/2012/07/03/lions-get-the-scoop-on-pilot-dogs

Here's a link to youtube. It's a documentary of Pilot Dogs. I think that it was done beautifully!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H24PHQT4yIg

Let me know what you think of the links.

Post 80 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Tuesday, 16-Apr-2013 0:23:51

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H24PHQT4yIg

Post 81 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Tuesday, 16-Apr-2013 0:25:37

Well. I hope that you guys are able to look at the links. I just tried clicking on them, but couldn't, so tried posting it again. So, hope you guys are able to see it. Let me know if you have trouble.

Post 82 of 117SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today
I'll have the last word, thank you!
988 posts
Saturday, 20-Apr-2013 17:30:36

Ok, so there are a ton of posts up there and I'll go read them in a moment, but I want to post this first. I can always add later based on what's up there. Ok, so in a nut shell, would I recommend Pilot to most people? No, absolutely not. Now, before anyone starts jumping down my throat, 1. read my disclaimer, 2, read my whole post, and 3, really understand what guide dogs are for. 1. Disclaimer. Absolutely amazing dogs can come out of truly aweful schools. Horrible dogs can sometimes come out of amazing, wonderful schools. A really great handler can take an average or even a below average dog from an ordinary or a substandard school and make them into an outstanding guide. Really abismal handlers can take a great dog from an excellent school and ruen them. Always remember these facts whenever reading posts from anyone on any forum about any school. 2. Why I do not recommend Pilot, and the few circomstances under which I would recommend them. First of all, and most importantly is the issue of trafic training. Trafic training is the socialization of puppies to trafic and the training of dogs to understand, respect, work around, respond to, and to some extent, fear trafic. Guide dogs must be comfortable walking alongside rush hour trafic on 6 lane highways. They must be confident walking on padestrian bridges passing over roaring express ways. They must walk right up to curbs without fear, with cars speeding by a foot from their faces. They must be able to enter a street where cars were just racing by, unafraid of those stopped inches away or those rushing by in parallel trafic. They must not stop in fear in the street, or panic and dart across the street. They must watch cars and remain mindful of stopped or slow moving cars so that they can perform trafic checks. This means that they must be ready to stop and let a car pass mid crossing, to speed up a little to get out of the way of a car that is coming at you too fast, to back up if a car is going to intersect your path and stopping isn't enough. They need to be able to make decisions without any input from their handler whatsoever, or even more important, to disregard or go against incorrect input from the handler, such as fear if the trafic starts before the crossing is finished, nervousness in very loud situations, a tendency to vere away from parallel trafic, or a flinch, jump or other startle reaction to a revving engine or a near hit by a vehicle that passes close to the team. This is something that can not be fully trained or assessed unless the dogs experience nnumerous trafic checks, in a variety of situations, with a variety of different types of vehicles with a trainer observing the dog's reactions, and shhaping their behavior and understanding as the work progresses. This includes natural trafic checks, where the trainer uses naturally occurring trafic patterns to test and educate the dog, and also active trafic work. Active trafic work involves a minimum of two trainers working together. One handles the dog on the ground, while the other trainer drives a car, truck, van, etc to test and teach the dog in specific ways. The trainer on the ground may be under blindfold, late in the training in a carefully planned trafic check, but usually is not. The two trainers may communicate with eye contact, walky talkies, or this feature on cell phones, handsignals, or prior communication of the specifics of the drill, or may utalize a third trainer to coordinate, or the assistance of an aprentice trainer or a training or class supervisor. This includes ensuring that a full range of realistic situations are presented to the dog, including, but not limited to: cars pulling out of a drive way forwards, cars backing out of a driveway backwards, cars moving gradually out of driveways, cars moving quickly out of driveways, cars coming around corners, down roads or out of driveways from the dog's left or the dog's right, where the handler is on the street side or the far side on the sidewalk, cars stopping then starting up again, as happens when drivers fail to communicate well with the handler by starting to turn, stopping, then proceeding again, or stopping for a stop sign, but not seeing the team and then rushing on down the road, MidBlockCrossings, +sign, T & offset intersections, rightOnRed, near lane and far lane trafic checks, where the car can be in any lane from the one right in front of the team, to one across the street, cars turning in from parallel trafic, or cars starting up in perpendicular trafic, situations where the team is temporarily trapped mid crossing with cars moving around them, in front of and behind them at the same time. This is crucial for propper and complete trafic training. Trainers need to know that a dog won't leave the curb if it isn't safe, but that is nothing compared to the complex and challenging situations where a dog might need to make a series of split second decisions to navigate safely across the street. For instance, you step off fine, but the cycle is too short and you wind up still in the street when the light changes, the dog must monitor cars and proceed forward while stopping to let moving cars pass, stopping or backing up to see what a near car will do, not backing up too far into the path of a car in the next lane, remaining calm and not just bolting for the curb, not freezing and relying on drivers to swerve around the team, understanding the trejectery of cars, whether the driver is continuing in a strait line or trying to manuver around the team, as the action taken to avoid the car in both instances are different from one another. They also work with cars that come up over the curb, such as a long city bus turning a corner and coming up as much as two feet over the edge. They will even replicate some bazaar driver behavior that could result from a confused or antagonistic driver who is under the influence of some substance, who is unsure of what to do, who is driving eradically because of illness or responding to another driver's errors, or who intentionally may harass the team. For instance backing out of a drive way, then steering a little towards the dog to force them to stop, and then to back up. Sometimes the trainers must work on specific things, such as using a bopper to teach the dog to give more clearance. The dogs must respect, but not be terrified of cars. If a dog is consistantly stopping TooCloseTo the car, such that their nose would be brushed or banged by the passing car, the trainer in the car can reach out the window with a roll of newspaper or a stick with a soft bumper on the end and bop the dog's nose or head, to give them the message to back up and give a little more room to cars.Actually hitting the dog with a car, even lightly, or allowing a non trainer driver, unaware of the training to do this could traumatize, injur and ruen the dog. For a very balsy dog, some schools may even have to pinch a dog with a car. This means that the trainer on the ground sets up and holds the dog firm while the trainer in the carr comes up and very carefully presses the dog with the car against the ground trainer's leg. This is very important for some dogs, to get them to respect cars, without becoming too hesitant. Then trainers drive trafic checks on students in class with their dogs. This is very important, as relying on only naturally ocurring trafic checks makes the students less safe, and can never provide all of the necessary trafic experiences in the short time they are in class. What does this have to do with Pilot? A lot. Pilot does not use planned or orchestrated trafic checks, at. all. They only use naturally occurring trafic checks, & only with the trainers, no students. They do not use any trafic checks, planned or natural with the student dog pairs, none. at. all. This is very, very, very bad. Pilot is the only school not to do this. All other US GuideDog schools currently do trafic training with trainers & students. Continued...

Post 83 of 117SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today
I'll have the last word, thank you!
988 posts
Sunday, 21-Apr-2013 12:40:19

Pilot's trainers only use naturally occurring trafic checks, and in class they don't use any trafic checks at all with students, not even natural ones. I'm not going to be PC about this. This is neglegent, and not acceptable. All of the other schools vary on how much trafic training they do, but all of them use a combination of natural and planned trafic checks. For instance, most schools, such as GEB, Guiding Eyes for the Blind only have 1 "trafic day" with students in class, but they have tons of days of natural and planned trafic checks with the dogs and trainers prior to matching a dog with a student, and the checks on trafic day are planned checks with trainers driving. Some schools have multiple "trafic days" in the course of a class, to avoid stressing the dogs too much by doing tons of continuous trafic checks all in one session. The Seeing Eye, has no "trafic day" because they utalize natural and planned trafic checks throughout training. I got trafic checks a few days into training, and even a planned check by the director of training during my south street solo route. At GEB we had just 1 trafic day. With Fidelco, who provides exclusively home training, we used natural trafic checks through out training, then the head of student relations, also a trainer himself, came up for 1 day to drive planned trafic checks. In some home training situations the trainer drives checks them self, without ground support for the student, which can be, depending on the type of dog and the prior experience of the student, anywhere from downright dangerous, to only minimally risky. If a student needs help specific to trafic issues, the school might send 2 trainers for follow up to do planned checks, or have the student come back to the school where 2 trainers can work with them, or the single responding trainer may use only natural trafic checks, or very carefully drive their own checks while the experienced student works the dog on the ground, or a friend or family member well versed in guide dogs or an O and M instructor provides ground support. Some schools, depending on the skill and experience of the handler and the preference of the trainer, even teach a handler how to perform only certain types of natural trafic checks on their own, without a trainer present. But, in all of these cases, the school uses both planned and natural trafic checks with the trainers and with the students to ensure the dogs are capable and skilled in trafic work. To reidderate, Pilot uses no trafic checks of any kind with the students in class, and only uses natural trafic checks with trainers. From talking with various staff from Pilot and reading statements in various publications and articles their statements have ranged from they don't think its necessary to stress the dogs with planned trafic checks, to its not neccessary for the dogs and students to experience trafic checks, to its not safe for students to do any trafic checks in class, to trafic isn't that important, to well, the dog and student shouldn't be in the street with trafic rushing around them anyway. To this I respond as follows. Hello? every other school in the United States thinks that trafic training is crucial, also that planned trafic checks at least to some extent are a required part of training trafic work. Yes, its a little dangerous to do trafic checks in class, but its a hell of a lot more dangerous for the dog not to perform a propper trafic check in the real world. Yes, in the ficticious realm of sunshine and rainbows, a team never winds up stuck in a tough spot with trafic, but in the real world we live in, this happens every day, even with well-trained dogs and excellent handlers, so you need to train for it. I would suggest Pilot as the absolute last option to anyone considering applying for a guide dog. I would recommend Seeing Eye as the very best school, currently, and would state that all the schools in between have pros and cons that will make which one to select partially a matter of personal preference. The situations in which I would recommend Pilot? A. For some insane reason, no other school will take you, despite you having a clean record and being a good candidate for a guide dog, generally speaking. The theory being that an incompletely trained guide dog is better than no guide dog, as long as you remain mindful of the strengths & limitations of your Pilot GuideDog. B. You have your heart set on a dobermin. Pilot is the only school currently training any real number of dobermins that are not the odd doaner dog. Pilot gets their dobermins from an excellent breeder and they are a wonderful working breed for a guide dog, depending on your needs. C. You have your heart set on a German Shepherd, Fidelco turns you down (they have been downsizing lately and turning down compitant handlers even those who are returning students of theirs) and Seeing Eye won't accept you, or won't agree to let you wait only for a shepherd. Currently the only schools actively placing more than 1 litter of shepherds a year are: Fidelco which trains exclusively GSDs, Seeing Eye, which trains about 25 to 33 percent GSDs, and Pilot which trains a fair number of shepherds. D. You were planning to owner train your own guide, anyway & are willing to do the missing trafic training of a Pilot dog yourself. For instance, if you really want a GSD or Dobermin and are willing, able, have adiquate resources and enough rellivant experience to do so. Otherwise, as these are very very rare situations, just don't go to Pilot. Now, if they ever decide to implement more trafic training, then of course, this all doesn't apply. But for now, this is true. Now lastly 3. What is a guide dog for? If you answered "taking you around stuff, stopping at changes in elevation, keeping me moving in a strait line, or , looking cute, getting me attention, friends & dates, & companionship." then you're wrong. The first set of things are all things a white cane can do for you, and the second set are things that having a life, getting a pet, improving your social skills, being brave and socially compitant can all give you. What a guide dog is for, that is, what a guide dog can do that a cane can not, is trafic work, keeping you safe from your own misjudgement of trafic, silent cars, drunk drivers, crazy old ladies who shouldn't still have licences, amiture teen drivers, drivers who are drinking, texting, eating, smoking or taking illegal drugs while driving, and times when construction noise or high winds make it impossible for even an excellent traveler to judge or hear trafic. So, for those things which a white cane and good social skills can provide just as well, a Pilot guide dog will do just fine. But, as an actual functional guide dog, a safe partner in the real world, a Pilot guide dog just won't do the job. There is a lot of school bashing that takes place based on personal preferences, but trust me, the importance of trafic training, and the safety of a team is not a matter of personal preference, & noone giving the facts, regarding this issue alone, in an unbiased way is school bashing, myself included. I will tell anyone who will listen "Seeing Eye is the best." "I love Seeing Eye." "Seeing Eye is great because of this, and that, and this, and that, and the other thing..." And I could list off a whole lot of things I don't like about GDF, GDB, GEB, GDD, GDA, Leader, Fidelco, etc, but I could not honestly or fairly say "You would not be safe working a dog from this school. Do not get a dog from this school, at. all. ever. unless they change drastically." I would ultimately respect your right to an opinion different from mine. I could agree to disagree with you, but with regards just Pilot, I would have to conclude that you don't know a thing about guide dog training or you have a death wish if you listened to all that I've said & then still decided to get a dog from Pilot

Post 84 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Sunday, 21-Apr-2013 14:00:50

Dobermans are big LOL. As for winds I've been through that more times than I care to remember. GDB actually deferred me based partially on that. Their claim was that one must never, ever stumble while walking with a guide dog, even if you have 30 to 40-mile winds directly at your back or in your face, as that supposedly scares the dogs. About all they said to me that did! make sense was that I should perhaps have taken a little more time to get comfortable with the routes I'd been working on, that and perhaps I could stand to build up the strength in my arms as I'm not a very big guy. That definitely didn't help with the winds either. And while I don't necessarily plan to apply to schools again just now I do hope to at some point when the circumstances may be more conducive to me being accepted. I've even got my schools picked out and, while there were a few things I liked about Pilot, they would be at the very bottom of the list precisely because of the thigs you mentioned. I would apply to GEB, GDF and Leader Dogs first. I might also consider the Seeing Eye, although to be quite frank I've spoken to a lot of reps fromt hat particular organization over the years and they always seemed rather full o themselves. I also don't like the fact that they don't allow you to meet your dog's puppy raisers, which I think is a good experience. You get to meet the people who helped with the upbringing of your new companion and they get to see the dog transition to his or her new life.

Post 85 of 117SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today
I'll have the last word, thank you!
988 posts
Sunday, 21-Apr-2013 16:08:35

Hi there. Many things. GDB, oy vay. I've been working guides since age 16, and at one point, between guides I applied to them. They did my home interview, in July, on the first day of the summer to go above 95 degrees. My house is at the bottom of a very steep hill on a block that is 2 or 3 times as long as your standard suburban neighborhood block. I was in capri pants, and a black t-shirt. I was huffing and puffing after I'd gone about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way up the hill. The rep actually told me to call them back when I lost some weight. I am overweight, but my cardeo health is just fine, better than many skinny but out of shape people. I told him that all the days previous to this had been in the high eighties, low nineties, and that I was perfectly capable of walking 1 to 3 miles at a time on a daily basis, and that this was not representative of my abilities as a handler. That is an unfortunate thing about the home interview. You can get an excellent trainer from a terrible school and get a falsely good impression of the school, or you cann get a horrible interviewer from a good school and get turned down unjustly or get a falsely poor impression of the school. Leader is one of those schools that has improved a lot recently. It used to be sort of in the same class as Pilot, but it has made some major improvements over time. It wouldn't be in my top 5 choices, but it wouldn't be in the bottom 3 either. Leader of 20 years ago would have been tied for the very bottom spot with Pilot, but as I said, it has improved over time. Well, let me give you a few Seeing Eye specific thoughts. Puppy raiser contact. To someone whose never had a bad puppy raiser experience, puppy raiser contact seems like the best thing ever. To someone who has had a bad experience with their dog's puppy raisers, it is the most terrible idea ever. The reality is that sometimes puppy raisers can be a blessing, sometimes they can be a curse, and sometimes they are nutral. Also, sometimes a wonderful handler can make puppy raisers feel secure, & great, & a terrible handler can make them give up puppy raising at all, or cause a lot of drama. Seeing Eye recognizes that not all puppy raisers and handlers will get along, and that both the grad and the puppy raiser have the right to privacy if they so choose. I don't think that the manditory contact with formal graduation ceremonies where your dog is taken away and given back to the puppy raisers to present to you, like at GDB is acceptable. Its demeaning and makes you a total charity case, no privacy for you. I also don't think that the no puppy raiser contact accept for letters back and forth that Seeing Eye implements is the answer either. But, if the choice is between those two ends of the spectrum, give me Seeing Eye's polocy any day. Idealy a policy such as Fidelco used to have is best, where if both parties wish it, there can be contact, via letters, or exchanging of phone numbers, then raisers and grads can take the contact further or cut it off if they so choose. It used to be the case that contact was allowed, if both parties conscented, which allows for privacy and dignity for both parties. This mutual relationship is a good system, but Fidelco has switched to a system much like Seeing Eye. Currently, no program offers this nice balanced, mutually respectful option, so if given the option of contact where you have no right to privacy and one in which the school mandates the public and the raisers respect your right to privacy, I'm all for the privacy. At Seeing Eye, you get a detailed puppy profile from the raisers, often with cute pictures, telling you what toys, games and snuggling activities your dog liked, some of their funny stories, some of their personality quirks, and what their raiser home was like I.E. urban, suburban, rural, number of people and their ages and genders, etc. If you want to write a letter to them sharing your experiences with your dog, you can do so. You just don't mention your street address or your name. You can mention the city and state or the section of your state, and share all sorts of stories with them. A few people have deffended school ownership by saying that they don't check up on you constantly. Well, I'm glad if this was your experience, but, it is not everyone's. Some people have had their dogs taken away on no real grounds, and the contract made this possible. If someone at the school is vindictive, ignorant, or just misinformed, then your dog can be taken away, and you can't legally do a thing, because that contract, please people, read that contract, does allow them to take the dog for any reason they deam appropriate. I trust Seeing Eye, as it currently stands, but I also do not have to fear that should they become corrupt or change drastically in 10 years, which is possible, I will not be in jeperty of losing my dog on their whim. For instance, we are frequently reported to our schools for "abusing" our dogs by the public who sees leash corrections or high collar corrections as abuse, or for "neglecting" our dogs, just because we keep them at a healthy weight and refuse to let them become butterballs like most pet dogs are. If your school doesn't give you the benifit of the doubt, guess what? No more dog for you. No reasonable person would be alright with letting the hospital retain the parental rights to their child, letting the car dealership retain the rights to their car, for any reason they so choose, let the animal shelter or breeder have the right to take back our pet at any time, for any reason at their disgression. Contracts from car dealers, pet stores, breeders or animal shelters have specific clauses such as non payment forr more than 2 months, not spaying the dog by 6 months of age, etc, underwhich they can take the car or the dog back. Guide dog school contracts always say "at our disgression" which means, whenever the hell they want. Just because you or the other posters have never fallen victem to this underhanded practice doesn't mean that they never will, or that it doesn't happen. Heres an example. I feed my dog a raw diet. She is healthy and happy, and I did not make this decision lightly, but had I a dog from GDB or similar, I would have to either give up this practice, which I feel strongly about, or hide it and live in fear of them taking my dog away, something they would deffinitly do if they found out. No one who uses an oxygen tank, a wheelchair, a walker, etc would be comfortable with a contract from the manufacturer saying they can come to your house for any reason at their disgression and take away this life saving, or independence enabling piece of technology, & we shouldn't be passive about this either. If you are prepared to fight with unreasonable puppy raisers, in the event that you wind up with them, if you are willing to trust your school completely including all personelle, current and future, are not planning on feeding raw, utalizing wholistic vet care, traveling with your dog to anywhere contrivercial, working your dog in a prison, near a fireworks display, at or in a parade, at an amusement park, or anywhere else that your school might find objectionable, then by all means, go with any of the schools in the US, but if privacy & autonomy, & dignity matter to you, then think carefully and ask a lot of questions, and read contracts carefully. It takes thinking about how we are seen and treated as people with disabilities, and how the school makes this situation better or worse. Reading the promotional materials of a school, meant for the sighted public, not for us tells a lot about how they really feel about us too. Stear clear of schools who talk constantly about how these dogs are our companions, best friends, life savers, or how we would be lost, lonely, depressed, shut-ins or isolated without them. Look for schools that highlight what these dogs can do logistically for us, how they enhance our existing independence as great mobility tools

Post 86 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Sunday, 21-Apr-2013 17:50:43

That's why Guiding Eyes is on my list. I've spoke to a lot of reps fromt he school over the years and a lot of students from the school aswell. They definitely seem like one of the more reasonable ones, though of course I imagine every school has its bad apples, whether it be a instructor getting close to his or her retirement and more concerned with that than about doing their job to the fullest of their abilities or just someone who thinks they know what's best for everybody. As for Seeing Eye I've talked to a lot of would-be applicants who had home interviews where they were deferred unfairly. One case that always stuck with me was a girl who lived in Portland, Oregon where I used to live. She applied and did happened to have her home interview on one of Portland's all to common rainy days. Eve if it didn't rain right then ithad bee raining recently. Well she knew well the routes she was going to demonstrate, but there were wet leaves all over the sidewalk and that understandably slowed her progress. It's fairly easy to move dry leaves out of the way wit a cane, but wet leaves are quite another matter. The rep condescendingly remarked that she shouldn't let a bunch of leaves get in her way and that she probably wouldn't get in.

Post 87 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Friday, 10-May-2013 2:21:50

To SensuallyNaturallyLiving4Today: I respect that you have your opinion, but I am a graduate of Pilot Dogs, and have a beautiful three year old black labrador named Mozart! He's amazing! No, I mean, he's really amazing! Within the two years that I've had him, we have experienced numerous trafffic checks. Believe me, I wouldn't have taken him if he wasn't traffic trained. I don't want to lose my life either. Like I said, you can have your opinion, but I don't know what you're talking about. I've talked to all of the trainers there and they all tell how important traffic is, and how all of their dogs know it. Yes, there are a lot of commands that they don't teach, such as Halt, but commands like that I've taught him and so many more. They teach the basics, and you teach the rest, but you know that going into it, and so if you don't want that, then choose another school. I understand why you think that the Seeing Eye is the best school because you went there yourself, but I also think that you are being very buiest about your school as well. I don't appreciate you bashing all of the other schools out there, and just saying that your school is the best. Just because The Seeing Eye is the longest running school, doesn't automatically make it the best. And, speaking about traffic, you sure know how to go to extremes on the subject. I live in LA Culver City area, and believe me, I get thrown into mayjor traffic situations every day, and my Pilot guide dog and I, work through them, together. I think that way too much is put on the dog. It's not all about making the dog do everything. Remember that the human is, and has to be, the other half of that partnership as well. And as for you saying that at some schools, trainers hold the dogs firmly in the street while other trainers bop the dog on the nose, or pinch them with cars, that is total out-right blatened, ABUSE!!! That's exactley how you make a dog fear traffic, which is not traffic training the dogs at all. That is abusing them. I do not have a death wish. I did have one wish though. My wish was to have a guide dog, ever since I was three years old. Yes, three years old. I knew what I wanted, and two years ago, that wish came true. My guide dog is fanominal!!! I have Pilot Dogs to thank for that! They gave me my life, my entire world, the center of my universe!!! Everyone: yes listen to opinions, gather research based on what people say, but please, don't forget to do your own research as well. Call, e-mail, or write to the schools that you are interested in applying to. Ask any questions that you may have. Ask about their training. Ask what ever you need to to put your minds at ease before you attend, and while you're there as well. That is where you will get your true information from. I mean, like I said before, it's great to ask people about certain schools and get there input, especially if you've been to that school before, but people like to talk, especially if they've have a bad experience there, or if they didn't like what someone said to them. People like to make up stories. So, as well as ask graduates and people of that sort, call and ask the schools yourselves, to get the real truth, once and for all. Thank you very much.

Post 88 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Friday, 10-May-2013 2:36:34

Oh, and as for Pilot not letting you meet your puppy raiser... I would prefer that. I mean, what they do for our dogs is incredible, but I think that having this big old serimony and all of that sort of thing just creates confusion for the dogs. Let the puppy raisers say their good-bys when they return them to the school. I like the whole thing that for Pilot, that after six months, you can write a letter and then send it to Pilot, and then they will forward it to them and if you want, you can put your contact info in the letter and the puppppy raiser can read it and contact you if they choose to. Otherwise, I think that anything beyond that just is too much for everyone. I love the fact that I have ownership of my dog, and I have had it ever since I graduated with him, and it's just him and me now with not having to deal with any confusion or anything. Oh, and by the way, I forgot to mention, if Pilot was such an unsafe school, then they wouldn't make you do a test walk at the end of the training. The test walk consists of you walking to the bus, getting on the correct bus, riding to a spasific stop, getting off, walking about four big long blocks in the heart of down-town with huge crowds and all kinds of stuff, crossing major streets, including one with an eight lane intersection, then riding the bus back and then walking back to campus, all on your very own! You get two chances to complete the test on your own, and if you don't, then you go home for more training without your dog. But if you do pass the test, then you get to go home with your adorable friend for life, owning your dog! The trainer that did my test, actually said that I passed with flying colors!!! Now, if that doesn't prove that they care about our safety, both our human safety and the safety of our dogs, then I don't know what else will!

Post 89 of 117Dana
Veteran Zoner
64 posts
Friday, 10-May-2013 11:50:49

ok, i just have to pipe up here. i have a guide from pilot. and, no, you do not own your dog when you leave there. you sign papers saying they retain ownership. i signed them. yes, they can come and take your dog away if you are reported to be abusing it or whatever. and, no, they do not do traffic checks during training. i asked specifically for that and was told that they only use natural checks. if you go there you had better have absolutely fantastic cane and travel skills and dog training skills as well. you will definitely have to finish the training at home. my dog was running curbs, stairs, etc etc even at the school. she is great now but, that is because she had me, a top-notch dog trainer, to finish her off. why did i go there you may ask? because i want to choose my breed with no questions asked. i wanted a dog that was started on basic commands and already well behaved indoors. i am glad that motzart is working out for you but, i have seen motzart at work. i was in very close proximity to you and him for a couple of weeks. i am sorry to blow your bubble but i did not see a well trained dog. smile. so, folks, take that with a couple grains of salt. i am glad that the dog meets her needs now but, if you want a super trained dog, go to another school. i would definitely not suggest anyone go to pilot for your first dog. there you have my opinion.

Post 90 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Friday, 10-May-2013 21:57:43

If this is Dana Steve's ex girlfriend or who ever you are: I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about! First of all, I do own my dog. I signed those papers too. Second, for the last time, Pilot does natural traffic checks. That's all that's necessary for them to do. Third, how dare you say that my dog is untrained! Who do you think you are? I don't know what you think you're trying to do here, But in my book, you were just Steve's girlfriend for about five seconds, and I just happened to talk to you on the phone a couple of times. You were not in very or any close procksimity with me or my dog what so ever. You no nothing about me or my dog or how trained he is. Don't horrass me or my dog again!

Post 91 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Saturday, 11-May-2013 0:34:39

A bit haughty aren't we there post 89?

Post 92 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Saturday, 11-May-2013 20:24:59

Thank you very much! I really appreciate that! I don't know who this girl thinks she is or what, but that was very rude, insulting, and I really don't know what she's talking about. Like I already said, she was in no way anywhere near me for any time that I was training with Mozart, or ever at all. We have never crossed paths or anything. I mean, even if she's not Steve's EX girlfriend who I talked to on the phone for maybe like, two or three times, we've never seen each other before, and so I don't get at all how she thinks that Mozart and I were ever in any sort of close praucsimity with her for her to see whether he's trained or not. How dare she!

Post 93 of 117Dana
Veteran Zoner
64 posts
Sunday, 12-May-2013 1:39:13

ok, yeah, perhaps it was a bit haughty but, i do know of what i speak. as i said, i am glad that mozart meets her needs but as for the training the dogs get. yes, i have seen him work and plenty. perhaps you recall arkansas sammi? you were there for quite some time. heh. hey, i am glad that you love the school but, compared to what i have seen come out of several others, the training is minimal and, as i said above, you'd better have great mobility and/or dog training skills. jmo.

Post 94 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Sunday, 12-May-2013 20:03:08

I was in Arkansas for a little while at Lions World, but I never met someone there named Dana. Who are you?

Post 95 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Monday, 13-May-2013 7:00:16

And anyway just because something might not work out for you doesn't mean it won't work out just fine for someone else.

Post 96 of 117rat
I've now got the bronze prolific poster award! now going for the silver award!
1832 posts
Monday, 13-May-2013 11:44:37

My GF has gotten a dog from Pilot, and let me tell you from what I've heard of him he is one of the absolute best guides I've come acrossed. Does he have his problems, maybe. Do all dogs have no problems what so ever, I don't think so.

Post 97 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Monday, 13-May-2013 15:55:57

Thank you very much! I know that I have a dog who not only just meets my needs, but who is fully trained. Anyone can get a dog from a, "good school,"And make them untrained. Just like anyone can get a dog from the school that is said to be bad and make him good. Also, all schools can improve on one thing or another and it's not fair to judge the school based on only your opinion alone. It's better to say that you had a bad experience there, and not lead anyone astray. Furthermore, even though I always will straight to the end, I don't have to defend my decision to go to Pilot or my dog to anyone. Who ever this lady thinks she is, She thinks she knows more about me and my dog than I do. Wrong number! First she says that she is seen me train with him at the school For a couple of weeks, then she says that she's seeing us work in Arkansas. Which is it?

Post 98 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Monday, 13-May-2013 17:35:15

Exactly. It's like my x saying she has irrefutable evidence that guide dogs regularly turn on their handlers.

Post 99 of 117Mozart71
Generic Zoner
20 posts
Monday, 13-May-2013 18:19:08

Yes! I'm really glad that I'm a guy dog handler. I love working with and taking care of my dog.

Post 100 of 117BryanP22
I've now got the silver prolific poster award! wahoo!
3645 posts
Monday, 13-May-2013 22:31:05

That's what I've heard from every guide dog handler I've ever known. I can't say I've known hundreds but I've definitely known a lot of them and I've never known any dog that seemed about to turn on their handler. Then again Sandra was as I like to say a few cans short of a six-pack. She got this hhair-brained notion that we could train one of her precious Chihuahuas to be a guide dog for me. Now there would be a guide dog that would have me worried about it turning on me, even if their small size didn't automatically rule them out for guidework.

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