All That Matters is thrilled to welcome Ingrid the Guide Dog!
If you are taking classes with Aria Mia, you'll have a furry companion joining you in the classroom. Because Aria is legally blind, Ingrid will be accompanying her during instruction to offer guidance when needed. For those of you that may have questions or concerns about sharing space with Ingrid, below is some more information about what to expect. We hope you will join us in offering support to Aria as she continues her yogic journey, now with a loving companion by her side.
Ingrid is a black English Labrador Retriever, bred, raised, and trained by Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) in San Rafael, California, specifically as a service animal for a blind or legally blind handler. She began her Guide Dog socialization at about six weeks old, started rigorous formal training at about nine months old, and underwent several official examinations to earn her status as a certified service animal. Based on her speed, stature, temperament, and personality, Ingrid was specially matched with Aria by GDB. Aria and Ingrid then underwent an intensive training and examination process together as a working team.
General Questions & Information about Guide Dogs:
- A guide dog user is called a “handler”.
- A guide dog is a highly specialized and trained service animal, bred and trained for the particular task of guiding a blind or legally blind handler.
- Guide dogs are trained similarly to military or police dogs. In fact, many service animals who do not pass the specific components of guide dog training go on to be military or police dogs.
- Guide dogs have been trained for their duties since they were puppies and must pass rigorous training assessments before they’re matched with a handler.
- Handlers must be accepted into a guide dog training program to receive a guide dog. They must show a need for a guide dog and pass physical, psychological, and personal assessments.
- Handler and guide dog are matched based on height, weight, speed, and personality. All aspects of a handler’s lifestyle are considered when they are getting paired with a guide dog.
- Guide dogs and handlers undergo a two-week personalized training together once matched.
- A guide dog is not a pet, but does enjoy off-duty time where they get to just be “dogs”!
- A guide dog is not a therapy dog.