It is a dog trained to act as a guide for a blind person. Guide dogs came into use in Germany after World War 1 when the government established a centre for their training to help blind veterans.
Such training centres were later opened in several European countries and also in the United States. The first and best known centre in the United States is Seeing-Eye Inc. founded in 1929 near Morristown, New Jersey.
Other well known training centres is Eye Dog Inc. and the South African Guide Dogs Association for the Blind. A Guide dog is trained alone for a time and then additional training with its blind master. The dog is trained to lead his owner safely around obstacles and through traffic. It will obey certain commands but will disobey them if it feels that this will lead its owner to obstacles or danger.
Not all the blind are able to use guide dogs successfully. The Blind person must be in good physical condition and of average intelligence. The Blind person must also have a temperament suitable for working with a dog.
The blind person who is able to use a guide dog gains independence and is able to lead a more normal life.