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Seeing Eye® Dog

New Jersey State Dog

Statue of Morris Frank (co-founder of The Seeing Eye) and his seeing-eye dog BuddyKritzolina, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Official State Fruit of New Jersey

On January 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that officially designated the Seeing Eye® dog as the state dog of New Jersey. The bill had been introduced by Senator Anthony R. Bucco and was shepherded by his son, Senator Anthony M. Bucco, after his father's death. It passed the New Jersey Senate and Assembly with unanimous bipartisan support. This was a fitting honor for The Seeing Eye®, which has been headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey since 1929.


The Seeing Eye® Organization

The Seeing Eye® is a non-profit organization founded in 1929. It is the oldest guide dog school in the United States and has paired more than 18,000 trained guide dogs with owners who are visually impaired since 1929. The Seeing Eye's mission is to enhance the independence, dignity, and self-confidence of blind people through the use of Seeing Eye dogs.

The Seeing Eye breeds and raises its own puppies to become Seeing Eye dogs. The puppies are carefully screened for temperament, intelligence, and trainability. They are then placed with volunteer puppy raisers who socialize and train them for the first 12-18 months of their lives.

Once the puppies are old enough, they return to The Seeing Eye for formal training. The training program lasts four months and covers a variety of skills, including obedience, obstacle avoidance, and navigation. The dogs are also taught how to help their partners with everyday tasks like finding a seat on a bus or opening a door.

After completing the training program, the Seeing Eye dogs are matched with people who are blind. The partners and dogs then attend a two-week training session where they learn to work together as a team. Once the training is complete, the partners and dogs go home together and begin their new life together.

The Seeing Eye provides lifetime support to its graduates. The organization offers training and resources to help partners and dogs maintain their skills and bond. The Seeing Eye also conducts research on canine health and development.

Seeing Eye dogs make a significant difference in the lives of people who are blind. They provide mobility, independence, and companionship. Seeing Eye dogs are truly remarkable animals that deserve all the praise and recognition they can get.


The Importance of Seeing Eye Dogs

Seeing Eye dogs are essential companions for blind people, providing them with the mobility and independence they need to live full and active lives. Seeing Eye dogs help blind people to navigate their surroundings safely, avoid hazards, and find their way around unfamiliar places. They also provide companionship and emotional support, which can be invaluable for people who are living with blindness.

Here are some of the specific ways that Seeing Eye dogs can help blind people:

  • Navigation: Seeing Eye dogs are trained to guide their owners around obstacles, avoid hazards, and find public transportation stops and crosswalks. They can also help their owners to navigate complex environments, such as airports and shopping malls.
  • Independence: Seeing Eye dogs allow blind people to travel independently, without having to rely on others for help. This can give blind people a greater sense of freedom and control over their lives.
  • Companionship: Seeing Eye dogs provide companionship and emotional support to their owners. They can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and they can also provide a sense of security.

Seeing Eye dogs are a vital part of the lives of many blind people, and they play an important role in helping blind people to live full and independent lives.