Hi - how widespread is it for dogs working with blind people to be trained to find room numbers in strange buildings, and how do they do it?

I ask this having read Dita Kilsby's edited book on border collies, in which there is a boxout in which a blind person describes how she trained her border collie to work with her, and registered him as a guide dog before he retired because of ill health. She then got an officially trained guide dog, and says that "one of my frustrations was that guide dogs are not taught to find room numbers in strange buildings or to find shopping in a supermarket. As my other dogs had done these things..."

She describes how she taught her guide dog to find things in supermarkets, but she does not say any more about room numbers in strange buildings. I'd be interested to hear anything that may relate to what she is on about!

Thanks in advance!
Cheers,
Chris
I don't know the book you're talking about, and I have no experience with guide dogs other than the few I've met. If the blind person were in a hotel, wouldn't he ask at the front desk where his room was, get directions (all the way down this hall and then to your right), follow the directions counting door knobs or doorways with his cane, and then read the numbers in Braille? The Americans with Disabilities Act has all sorts of specific provisions in it. For blind people, it boils down to public buildings having signs in Braille and public buildings that might not otherwise allow dogs to allow guide dogs.

Going out on a limb now I suppose it would be possible to teach a dog to recognize numbers if they were printed in a standard way and always in the same place. In other words, you could have large cards with numbers printed on them and then teach the dog to bring you card #2 on the TWO command. I cannot imagine teaching a dog to recognize numbers of the sort that would be on doors in an office, hotel or hospital.

Lia
I cannot imagine teaching a dog to recognize numbers of the sort that would be on doors in an office, hotel or hospital.

Or on an agility course. Rocky: 1 to 19, watch the turn in to the #6 jump, it's tight. See you back here in 32 seconds for a treat.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
In other words, you could have large cards with numbers printed on them and then teach the dog to bring you card #2 on the TWO command.

Check out Michael Fox's book "Superdog - Raising the Perfect Canine Companion". There is a chapter where he talks about the possibility of teaching a dog to "read" from cards words that have meaning to a dog - like walk, food, etc.
I read somewhere - wish I could remember where - about someone who actually did this with a poodle. It might have been in Fox's book.

Jana