Look what I can do!

14 July 2021

Hi, I’m Gilbert. I’m training to be a Seeing Eye Dog.

Gilbert, a black Labrador Seeing Eye Dog puppy, looks directly at camera


Between 12 to 20 months, pups like Gilbert are assessed on their suitability to become a Seeing Eye Dog. They need to learn many new skills.


Here’s just a glimpse of some of the skills Gilbert will need to master before he can graduate:

4 images of Gilbert demonstrating his skills

1. Centre of the footpath and kerb stop:

Gilbert is learning to stay in the centre of the footpath and indicate any change in surface level such as a kerb, road crossing, steps, stairs and so on.

2. Targeting tram steps/ Onboarding public transport:

On command, Gilbert has to find the entrance of the tram, train or bus and board in a calm manner.

3. Finding doors and seats

Gilbert needs to recognise and respond to commands such as finding doors and unoccupied seats as well as pedestrian crossing buttons, escalators, stairs and so on.

4. Avoid obstacles

Gilbert is learning how to avoid obstacles both on the ground and overhead to allow his handler enough room to continue on their way safely.

5. Stop and stand for steps

Gilbert needs to indicate stairs to his handler by stopping as close as practical to the stairs or step, or by placing his front paws on the up-step.

Gilbert will need to master these and many more highly specialised skills to ‘become the best of the best’ before he can graduate as a Seeing Eye Dog.

Thank you for helping to turn pups like Gilbert into life changing Seeing Eye Dogs.