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Downtown Guide Dog

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Downtown Guide Dogs, San Francisco, photo from Flickr stream of bossco

I was walking along Mission Street in the Financial District to get coffee this morning and was struck by how efficiently a big lab was in guiding a blind person through a crowded, chaotic crosswalk. The pair navigated multiple near-collisions plus the curb at the end. It was impressive. More after the jump…

Back at my Google Machine, I discovered that at least one prominent guide dog training program lists SF as an example of an advanced guide dog environment:

Phase #7

  • Guidework in extremely challenging downtown urban areas (San Francisco and Portland)
  • Training on buses, light rail/subway systems and platform edges
  • Introduction to low overhead clearances
  • Advanced off-leash obedience
  • Formal traffic training

Interestingly, San Francisco State University was the first university in the world to offer a post-graduate degree in guide dog training.

(Photo from Flickr stream of bossco)

Bonus video: Here’s Mambo learning to navigate curbs!

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