Celebrated on April 24th
Paws on sidewalk and hand on harness, the team is ready to take on the world — together. A guide dog is a specific type of service dog that is trained to assist people who are blind or have low vision. Guide dogs learn to stop at curbs and stairs, move around obstacles and sometimes to respond to simple commands like “Find the chair.” The dog’s handler decides where they are going and gives the commands. They are a team.
Guide dogs are trained to move in a straight line, avoiding any obstacles in their path or those facing their person. Theat means they will automatically stop at stairs, doors and curbs. Beyond that they look to their companions for guidance as to what to do next. Although guide dogs enjoy what they do immensly it is not all work and no play. When a guide dog gets home at the end of the day it will play and soak up praise just like any other family dog. They know that when their harness is on they must stay completely focused – when it comes off its play time.
While in their harnesses, guide dogs are working, and you should not pet them. Although they are friendly and adorable, resist your urge to pet guide dogs when you see them working in their harness. “[Many people don’t know] not to pet guide dogs while they are in a harness, but they are working and it could distract them from their job,”