Doggy school – About school

I’ve had some questions about how GDB works, so while I’m wating for my meeting with the instructor, I’m gonna post quickly.

At GDB for your first time, you go to the campus in San Rafael California for three weeks. Re-trains getting successor dogs can choose two or three week classes. So I left on February 15 and I’m coming home March 7.

We learn everything here in those three weeks. City travel, country travel, sidewalkless, building work, clicker training, basic commands, dog care, etc.

We graduate on March 6th and then we are a certified team. We can’t leave campus without an instructor until we graduate, by law. So an instructor is always with us, but they don’t always talk to us now, unless we ask questions.

When I get home, I’ll have liefetime support from the school. If I’m having problems, they will send someone to work with me. There is a person who lives in Arizona and he is called the field representative. So he’ll be the one to come if I need help.

They have a veterinary assistence program to help with medical costs, though I’m going to cover everything I possibly can. GDB is totally privately funded; no government assistence. So if I can afford something, I’ll cover it.

The whole training is covered, from airfare to room and board. We get three meals a day and there is snacks available too. Evern the coffee is provided. There is a housekeeping staff, a laundry room where soap is provided, what else. Oh we got a free supply , a year suppy of heart worm meds and flea nad tick drops as well as ear cleaning solution. We got all the equipment, harness, leash, tie ddown, grooming suppy and two toys. Oh and booties. What else hmmm. See, they’re so generous anyway. They even reimbursed me for the bag I had to check and they told me they’ll give me cash for the bags I’ll check on teh way home, but I’m not gonna take it. For the first 2 weeks they even came and got cash to get what we needed from the store.

So we’ll officially be a team on March 6. Not much longer!

1 Comment

Filed under Doggy Diaries, doggy school, GDB

One Response to Doggy school – About school

  1. Hey Row. That was so interesting finding out about your school. Completely different to our “Distric team” here in Northern ireland.

    With us, we first have to apply, then someone comes out to do what is called an inquiry visit. This is where they ask you things like why you want a guidedog and find out about what kind of life you have and such. Next, it’s a mobility assessment, where they find out what your mobility is like, and if you have any vision or not. Usually the rehabilitation officer does it, since they will know what your mobility is like and that. There is alot of paperwork that is sent away in these two visits. Next, it’s a guidedog assessment. This is where they take you out on a harness with you and the instructor to see what your speed and voice commands are like. They then fill in what height you are and what speed you go at and tell you whether they think you would be suitable for a dog. If they do, you then have to fill in a medical form explaining any medical needs you might have. Sometimes you have to do what is called a further guidedog assessment which is to see what you would be like working with a dog, and they see what type of dog would suit you. After that you get put on a waiting list. this is anything from 6 months to a year but sometimes longer or shorter.

    When they find a dog for you, they do a matching visit which is where they see if the dog matches your speed and that. Then you go off for 2 weeks at a hotel or you can train from home. Then you don’t qualify until after 2 weeks at home as well learning your home area.

    You also can pay for food or vet bills, or the association can do that for you. You have to pay 50 Pence though before you qualify.

    I take it you have to know the routes very well if you are going home? I mean the routes at home?

    Sorry this comment is so long.

    Take care, and also good luck for the night route. Xxxx

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