Anyone adopt a "failed" guide/seeing eye dog? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone adopt a "failed" guide/seeing eye dog?

The percentage The Seeing Eye provides is only 65% of seeing eye dogs in training pass all requirements, but the rest go into other services or live on as family pets.

I'm curious if anyone in the forum has personal experience or knows how any of those dogs are doing post career change.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 06:42 PM
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Would love a FIDELCO dog...Very expensive thought.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 07:26 PM
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I’m a guide dog mobility instructor at a comparative school..... not entirely sure what you’re asking? but I’m available to discuss.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 10:11 PM
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A friend is a service dog trainer and has kept a few who washed, but they are not German Shepherds. Her dogs make very good pets. They are low key, mellow dogs.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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@eddie1976
I looked up FIDELCO adoption fees, and wow. TSE dogs are only $1000.

@Fodder
I wanted to hear some first- or second-hand knowledge of how the dogs do in their new positions. I see a few veterans at the VA with some type of service dog--some not as well behaved as others. I can PM soon if that's a better way to communicate.

@LuvShepherds
Good to know! I know my fiance likes a mellow dog, but I think we could fit in a high energy one easily.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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@Fodder
Just interested in hearing first- or second-hand stories about the dogs that washed. Their temperament, trainability, activity level, etc.. Of course, at your discretion.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 11:15 AM
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I have had one in my class; a Labrador/Golden cross. The dog was like a zombie; all initiative trained out of him. He didn't have an association with toys and fun, he just lied at her feet. He was physically healthy but appeared to have an empty soul, no spark in his eyes. He did his work kinda like a robot. I don't know if other organizations train them with other methods though. I know from Europe that these dogs know the difference between work and play so that if they are off duty, they can be a dog; they are smart enough to know the difference.
A friend of mine had a breeding stallion that she also worked. He had a specific halter for taken out the barn for breeding and another one for going to work. He knew the difference very well.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 04:54 PM
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Well that’s unfortunate Wolfy but it’s hard to say, when judging a dog who did not make it as a guide, that his initiative was trained out of him... when that would be extremely counterproductive to the programs goals. Guide dogs need to have high initiative and the ability to make independent decisions in order to excell in their jobs. Perhaps his lack of initiative, motivation and work ethic is one of the reasons he did not succeed... also keeping in mind that genetically, things like scent / hunt / prey drive etc are going to be (or should be) significantly lower in dogs bred for guide work. Anyway... all speculation... in my experience with hundreds of career changes, the dog you describe is not typical.

At my organization there is not short of 20 different “drop codes” aside from medical in which a dog may be released from the program, most of things would typically go unnoticed to your average pet owner or at least would not be problematic in a pet home (surface avoidant, equipment sensitive, bird interest, alert barking, being solicitous, relieving in harness, even occasional cosmetic flaws that would draw too much public attention).

For the dogs who make the program - temperaments and energy levels vary considerably when you think that a fragile, petite, 90yr old woman who lives in the country would not have the same needs in a dog suited for a 20yr old athletic college student that travels thru New York City on a daily basis.

Our dogs know the difference between work and play but not all take advantage in the same way.... either way, downtime (dogtime) is emphasized in puppy raising, training, and also once issued.

When dogs are career changed they are evaluated and placed in the appropriate home or alternative line of work based on their temperament and taking into account their drop reason. Those sweet, sensitive, lower energy and easy to manage dogs may be placed with a blind child to help them prepare and transition to having a guide dog later in life.... those high energy, driven and pushy types will get snatched up by other organizations like search and rescue or with an adopter that is looking for an agility or running partner.

So to the OP.... all of that said, the majority of the dogs do well. The system is set up for them to do well. Be honest in what you’re looking for and that what they’ll attempt to place in your home.

Puppy raising however is a different ball game..... lots and lots of seemingly unnecessary rules, but believe me, there is a reason for them. If you are truly looking for a pet then I would explore adoption over puppy raising.

I am fine continuing the conversation here, but know that my PM box is also open to you as well.

Lastly - keep in mind that when you come across certain terms like “high prey drive”.... that typically means too high to be acceptable for a guide dog, compared to your standard GSD, most would consider these levels to be quite low.

Good luck!

TILDEN: Male: Blk/Red LHGSD: DOB: 12/24/06 65lbs of Love
KEYSTONE: Male: Sable: DOB: 2/11/13 55lbs of Go!!!!!

Last edited by Fodder; 03-24-2018 at 04:57 PM.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 05:01 PM
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Also, I think the user is RangersMom or something similar..... if I’m not mistaken, she was a puppy raiser for the seeing eye and adopted Ranger from them.

TILDEN: Male: Blk/Red LHGSD: DOB: 12/24/06 65lbs of Love
KEYSTONE: Male: Sable: DOB: 2/11/13 55lbs of Go!!!!!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 12:10 PM
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The vet tech where I take Rorie is a puppy raiser-she got one of the labs back that she trained-I think the reason she got the lab back was the dog did not seem happy with the work it was doing ...don't think 1000 is unreasonable to ask for a puppy-its supporting the program and you would pay more than that from a breeder most likely
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