Instruction & Training
Twelve times each year, a group of up to 24 students arrives in Morristown from all over the United States and Canada to begin their instruction with Seeing Eye® dogs. Every dog is specifically matched to meet the individual needs of each student. Matches are made based on handler/dog compatibility in strength, pace, temperament, and home environment.
Students arrive on campus on Saturday and receive their dogs two days later. If receiving their first dog guides, they stay to train with the dogs for 27 days; for subsequent dogs, the instruction lasts about 20 days. Each student is assigned to work with one instructor, who has no more than four or five students in a class.
Daily instructional routines may include traveling throughout the heavily trafficked streets of downtown Morristown, the quiet residential areas, country roads, shopping malls, train stations, bus routes, hotels, and even the nearby streets of New York City. When the newly formed teams leave The Seeing Eye, they have mastered the techniques they will need to navigate safely through daily life in their hometowns.
What Our Graduates Tell Us
The difference The Seeing Eye makes in the lives of people who are blind can best be demonstrated by the graduates themselves … people who are living their lives – some ordinary and others not-so-ordinary – enhanced by their daily experiences with their dogs. We strive to make constant improvements to our program, listening closely to what all our students have to say during exit interviews at the end of class and in surveys that take place several months after they return home.
Five years of survey results revealed the following:
- 93.4 percent said they are more mobile now than before they had a dog.
- 83 percent described their overall Seeing Eye experience as “excellent,” and 13 percent as “good.”
- 97.7 percent said they would recommend The Seeing Eye program to others.