Seeing Eye Dogs A Brief History

Seeing Eye Dogs A Brief History



You have no doubt seen a​ blind person being lead across a​ busy intersection by a​ Seeing Eye dog. These functional companions have been used to​ help handicapped people become independent for years. Nobody knows exactly when the​ concept of​ a​ Seeing Eye dog came into existence but it​ has been suggested that dogs have been used in​ such a​ capacity in​ various cultures for a​ very long time. it​ is​ known,​ however,​ that there was no formal guide dog program in​ existence until after the​ First World War.

Why German Shepherds?

Many people have probably wondered why guide dogs and Seeing Eye dogs are so often German Shepherds. There are two reasons. First,​ the​ German Shepherd has a​ strong sense of​ loyalty to​ its owner,​ giving it​ natural protective tendencies. Having a​ very protective dog as​ a​ companion is​ an​ obvious asset for someone who may otherwise be easily attacked by someone with bad intentions. the​ second reason is​ far simpler; the​ first guide dogs for the​ blind and visually impaired were trained in​ Germany to​ provided assistance for those blinded in​ the​ war.

After the​ end of​ World War I,​ Germany was in​ a​ state of​ financial depression. Many private businesses failed and the​ Potsdam,​ Germany school that trained the​ guide dogs for the​ blind was one of​ them.

The Seeing Eye was born

An American woman named Dorothy Eustis had heard about the​ program and decided it​ was a​ very worthwhile endeavor. Because she owned a​ company that was training German Shepherds as​ working dogs,​ she decided she might try to​ train guide dogs for the​ blind. She did not start this right away,​ however. in​ fact she was still considering the​ possibilities when she wrote a​ story for the​ Saturday Evening Post about the​ potential for guide dogs for the​ blind.

A Nashville man named Morris Frank had heard the​ story and decided to​ get in​ touch with Ms. Eustis and ask her to​ train a​ dog for him. She did and Mr. Frank became known as​ the​ first blind person to​ use a​ guide dog.

As part of​ an​ arrangement he’d made with Ms. Eustis,​ Mr. Frank started training guide dogs in​ the​ United States. the​ foundation that Mr. Frank started was named “The Seeing Eye” and the​ dogs that were used were dubbed Seeing Eye dogs.

Today guide dogs are trained to​ assist people with many different disabilities. There are Hearing Ear dogs to​ assist the​ deaf and other dogs that assist the​ physically disabled. All of​ the​ people who have benefited from the​ use of​ a​ guide dog,​ however,​ owe their thanks to​ Mr. Morris Frank of​ Nashville,​ Tennessee.




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