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Three CNIB Guide Dogs sitting in the grass staring at the camera.

CNIB Guide Dogs apprenticeship program

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Guide Dog Trainers (GDT) apprentice for one year, and Guide Dog Mobility Instructors (GDMI) apprentice for three years; the first year of GDMI apprenticeship is identical to the Guide Dog Trainer's apprenticeship. 

The apprenticeship for both positions is comprised of four modules:

Module One covers assessor training, the role of a guide dog, history of the guide dog, equipment, practical walk with a guide dog, legislation on access rights, basic dog care, kennel procedures, basic dog handling, puppy raising, dog breeds, qualities of a guide dog and guide dog handler.

Module Two covers the evolution of the dog, pack hierarchy, dog senses, dog language and communication, temperament, physical characteristics of the dog, introduction to guide dog training, stress in dogs, training environments, introduction to controlling a group of dogs, and observation of a client under instruction. 

Module Three includes the learning process and lectures. 

Module Four covers temperamental and physical characteristics of the guide dog, controlling a group of dogs, obedience exercises, free running and recall, spending routines, van procedures, control techniques, handle grip and position, guiding position, speed control and tension, straight line travel, directional commands, curb work, road crossings, obstacle work, destination walk, traffic training – handler, traffic training – driver, bus travel, train travel, rural travel, car travel, escalator travel, ferry travel, air travel, and the follow procedure.