Seminar – 20-22 July 2006 New York
The International Guide Dog Federation organizes seminars every two years, in different places all over the world. The previous one was held in Switzerland in 2004.
Mrs. Danuta Grzybkowska, the Chairwoman of the Foundation "Labrador - Pies Przewodnik" was invited to participate in this year meeting. Together with Ivana Balazova, the Slovak guide dog school’s instructor, they prepared a presentation "Give a Hand-Lets Help to Establish a New Guide Programme".
The seminar was held in the Kimmer Center, New York University, at Washington Sq.
The three days were filled out with meetings and projects from the morning to evening hours...
There were in the program plenary sessions (open for all invited persons) and facultative specialized meetings for small groups.
Many guide dog schools from following countries were represented in this seminar:
- Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Poland (the Foundation Labrador – Pies Przewodnik), Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Great Britain, USA.
The Federation was represented by: Emma Hobbs (IGDF Administrator), Ken Rosenthal (IGDF Chairman The Seeing Eye Inc), John Gosling (IGDF Vice Chairman Guide Dogs Victoria), Fred van Assema (IGDF Vice Chairman KNGF), Christine Baroni-Pretsch (IGDC Foundation Ecole Romande), Takatoshi Nakano (IGDF JPGDA), Bill Thornton (IGDF British Columbia Guide Dogs), Bridget Warr (IGDF GDBA).
The subject matter was very wide, focusing mainly on these problems:
- guide dog puppies temperamental and behavioural problems, behaviour classification
- carrier change for dogs rejected from the guide dog program – to service dogs
- methods of attracting sponsors supporting guide dog schools
- guide dogs for people with additional disfunctions
- preparation of a program for guide dog instructors – by university scientists
- health care for dogs in kennels
- service dogs for autistic children
- guide dogs for blind and deaf-and-dumb persons
- genetics: artificial insemination, embryos storing and implanting into working guide dogs
- guide dog training optimization – work on puppies development up to week 12
- use of clickers in guide dog training
- breeding program in Asia
The joined presentation by Labrador - Pies Przewodnik (Danuta Grzybkowska) and Vycvikova skola pre vodiacich psow (Ivana Balazova) contained:
- guide dogs situation in Poland - brief
- stages of the Polish School's development
- description of the Slovak School's situation
- presentation of the training process in Poland
- description of the support for the Foundation from Slovak, Australian and Holland schools
- problems to be solved by the Foundation
- plans for the future
- Polish School's achievements
The presentation was met with big interest. Guide dog schools representatives very friendly talked about the possibilities of cooperating with newly emerging schools and expressed their readiness to assist them. It is worth to add here that in the International Guide Dog Federation most of the members are small guide dog schools and their beginning was similar as ours, but 20 years ago...
Our Calendars for 2007 became very popular, and especially because they were in two languages.
At the end of the seminar there was a big gala night, a dinner, where it was possible to talk to people from all over the world, and not only about dogs.
Next seminar in 2 years... Pictures from the seminar are shown in the Gallery.
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