Have you ever wondered how they pick puppies that become guide dogs?
Me too. The video below shows part of the process a puppy goes through in order to become a guide dog.
This is how the National Guide Dog Center for the Blind (located in the U.K.) select their dogs.
They begin at Puppy Assessment with a PPA. PPA stands for Puppy Profile Assessment, and consists of 8 tests. Every test is scored on a scale of 1-7, 4 being ideal.
The first test measures if the puppy will follow and stay with a person, an important trait if they are to lead someone around.
The next test measures if they are able to retrieve a toy without getting too distracted. This makes sure they can be obedient and that they can focus.
Next, they will hold the puppy and not allow it to move. This tests patience and obedience.
A guide dog needs to be able to hear everything around them, but not react strongly to every noise. This test makes sure that they can hear but not get scared by new noises.
The most relaxing of the tests. The dog is pet to ensure they can accept human contact.
The puppy is called while a furry rag is dragged across the floor. They should notice the “squirrel” without chasing it down and still going to the person who called.
A guide dog should be able to enter unfamiliar or scary places in order to help a blind person through the world. This would include subways, so a puppy is led to a tunnel to see if they will go through it.
This is the same as above, except with a ramp.
If a puppy successfully passes all of these tests, they will begin the long process of training to become a guide dog.