Samsung Guide Dog School Experience
Samsung Guide Dog School is one of the many places I visited in Korea during the Incheon Asian Games 2014 as one of their global social casters. I have watched many guide dog movies but visiting the school is one of my dreams.
The Samsung Guide Dog School (SGDS) was established in 1994 in Gyeonggi-do Province (near Samsung Everland) is the only guide dog school in the world that is fully funded by a corporation. SGDS is funded by Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance and its goal is to help increase independence and self-reliance among the visually impaired people in Korea and this is Samsung’s commitment to give back to the society.
The school is officially recognized by the Korean Ministry of Social Services and Welfare to train guide dogs and they are a full member of IGDF.
Together with the rest of the social casters, we visited the school and watched an introduction video of the school.
(A Korean TV Series about guide dogs with Samsung Guide Dog School)
Each year, the SGDS hope to train and graduates up to 15 guide dogs a year and donate it to the visually impaired people for free. I was really touched by this CSR program by Samsung towards the community as there are not many countries have such CSR programs. Even in Malaysia, we have challenges for guide dogs as most public areas are not dog friendly.
(Samsung Guide Dog School video)
The making of guide dog is a long process. Firstly, the breeding process, the dogs are selected based on health and temperament. Then they will be selected to breed puppies for the SGDS program. Once the puppies reach 7 weeks old, they will be placed with volunteer puppy walkers and most of them are young family with children. I believe this is a good development for both the puppies and children. We watched the videos on how the children took care of the puppies and in a way they grow with them.
(Guide dogs inside the school)
When the puppy turns one, it will be returned back to SGDS. The puppies will then go for assessment test before the formal program. The training program will take months to complete. They will be trained to safely guide a person in different environments and on public transportation.
(Guide dog, River)
The guide dogs will be matched to a user once they passed the training program. The new duo will undergo another 4 week training course for acclimatize and on how to work together. It is also the time how they will bond to each other.
(A senior dog spotted taking a nap)
If the dog is too old, it can be returned to SGDS if not mistaken. They will rest in SGDS and this (picture above) is one of the veteran dogs believed to be 17 or 19 years old. No dogs will put to sleep in SGDS if the dog is healthy.
Social Caster Lalita from Thailand walking with guide dog blindfolded and going through obstacles.
(Posing with Guide Dog River)
The Samsung Guide Dog School is open every Saturday at 10.30 am. The programs include general public to visit the school facilities, watch the dogs in training as well as observe guide dog demonstrations.
(Guide Dog River)
Reservations are required and may be made by contacting the school directly at (011 82 31) 320-9224. More information may also be found online at http://mydog.samsung.com.
(Samsung Guide Dog School Information)
Samsung Guide Dog School Opening Hour:
Saturday 10.30 am (please call for reservation)
Samsung Guide Dog School Address and Contact:
310 Jeondae-ri, Pogok-eup,
Gyeonggi-do, 499-715, KOREA
Tel: (011 82 31) 320-9224
Email: [email protected]