SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — Local CNY service dog organization, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, recently implemented a new guide dog training initiative, The Running Guide Program. This program allows blind owners to stay physically fit by being partnered with a guide dog that performs all its necessary skills, but at a running pace. Guiding Eyes, regional coordinator, Mary Oonk, believes it takes an exceptional dog to be in the program.
“It’s taking a guide dog who has all those skills necessary to guide their person and keep them safe and help them, but doing it at a higher speed.”
These dogs go through additional training to learn how to behave properly, but when out running, jogging or even speed walking with their owners.
“And it just takes a dog that is willing to do just that little bit of extra and really enjoys, and that’s really key, is that they enjoy the work that a running guide does,” Oonk says.
Guiding Eyes is a nonprofit organization and relies entirely on donations. If you wish to help further their cause, you can donate at https://www.guidingeyes.org.