Due to the coronavirus outbreak, our guide dog school Baráthegyi Vakvezető Kutya Iskola was also forced to re-organise its activities and ask its trainers to work from home. During the epidemic, we recommend dog owners to wipe the paws and coat of their dogs when arriving home using sanitizing wipes or a soapy, wet towel. Do not pet each other’s dogs. Take care of each other!
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the working schedule of our Foundation has been re-organised. Our entire staff, including our trainers, work from home office. Guide dog training is done in teleworking, too. „During the quarantine, our trainers avoid busy places like shopping malls, public transport and cinemas. We train the dogs in quiet streets or at home. There are several training tasks, especially in the first phase, which do not need a busy environment” – Piroska Komondi explains.
In guide dog training, essential tasks include navigating obstacles, indicate level differences and walk on stairs. These may also be practiced during the quarantine. Many tasks can be practiced in quiet streets, in gardens or even in an apartment. When teaching navigating obstacles, dogs are often led into dead-end situations where they have to find their way out independently. We are not “mean”, just prepare them for situations they will frequently encounter during their work.
We train more with our guide dog candidates in our apartments now, than we used to. There are many small tasks which are not strictly necessary for completing the exam, yet can mean a lot for the visually impaired in their everyday lives. Such tasks include finding and handing over dropped objects, slipping into the guide dog harness, finding and indicating free seats, climbing under chairs or tables, but also “obvious” things like cooperation when being groomed or at the vet.
“Our trainers do everything to stay healthy. This is very important for them personally as well as professionally, as they do not want to be missing from work. Our visually impaired clients count on our dogs” Piroska Komondi adds.