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Guide Dogs In Training

July 28, 2020

TransLink has opened the Vancouver Transit Center to host guide and service dogs in training.

The new recruits will be familiarized with several buses repeatedly to accelerate their training.

“COVID-19 has been a real challenge for everyone, and I’m pleased to support the training of service and guide dogs in any way we can,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “I hope this training can help get trained guide and service dogs to the people who need them as quickly as possible.”

As part of a guide or service dog’s training’s graduation process, trainers must be able to determine they are well-behaved on buses, and that they are able to board and disembark. The puppies from BC & Alberta Guide Dogs are usually introduced to buses in the field and gradually trained, however this method has been suspended during the pandemic.

“Because of unforeseen difficulties from the COVID-19 pandemic, guide and service dog training is far behind where we’d like it to be,” said BC & Alberta Guide Dogs CEO Bill Thornton. “We are excited to seek out unique partnerships and opportunities to try and speed up training wherever we can, and we thank TransLink for this opportunity to socialize guide and service dogs-in-training to their buses.”

While only one day of training is currently scheduled, BC & Alberta Guide Dogs and TransLink say they are in discussions about how this training could be replicated to assist with training in the future.

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