Etiquette For Guide Dogs
Dogs are great! I mean really, dogs are loveable, smart, and can be very hard workers. I wanted to refresh people on some etiquette when it comes to seeing a guide dog in public.
* Do not pet, talk to or distract the guide dog while he/she is working. – People might think a guide dog is just walking and it isn’t a big deal to talk to it but it really is. Talking to the guide dog could distract it long enough for it to forget the route or miss an important turn. This could also result in danger to the guide dog/handler team.
* Guide dogs/handlers have the right of way. – If you are walking somewhere and you are in the same area please step aside or wait so the team can go ahead.
* Speak to the handler, not the guide dog. – As I said before dogs are wonderful but make sure you are respectful and speak to the handler not the guide dog.
Image of Mandy Smith, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist under blindfold at Leaderdog. Mandy is using one of Leaderdog’s guide dogs still in training so a guide dog trainer is also present helping Mandy find the grass on the edge of the sidewalk.