Seeing Eye dogs in the running to be New Jersey state dog

Posted:
MORRISTOWN -

Seeing Eye dogs are in the running to be New Jersey’s official state dog.

The dogs help the seeing-impaired to live fuller, more independent lives.

The Seeing Eye in Morristown has been training the dogs for nearly a century.

“We train our dogs on all the streets of Morristown. We ride public transportation in the state, so the relationship with New Jersey goes a long, long way,” says Seeing Eye president Jim Kutch.

Kutch was paired with his first guide dog in 1970 when he was a college student.

“I was able to walk really fast again. I remember zooming down Maple Street here in Morristown the very first time I walked with my first dog.

The dogs are trained to stop before crossing a street or when there is a change in elevation. They are also taught intelligent disobedience, so that they may override a command by their owner if there is something dangerous nearby, such as an oncoming vehicle.

The dogs first go through obedience and mangers training. When they are between 14 to 18 months old, they start Seeing Eye training.

The dogs are matched with owners based on character traits.

“What their personality is like. Where they live, like New York or the country. Some dogs are city dogs and other dogs like a quieter life and that’s all find,” says instructor Lauren Christie.

German shepherds, golden retrievers and Labradors are all trained by The Seeing Eye.

The Seeing Eye is the only New Jersey charity currently in the running for a Philadelphia-based company's giveaway. Click here to vote for them.

The State Dog Bill still needs to be voted on by the state Senate and Assembly to be official.

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