Today marks the anniversary of the establishment of The Seeing Eye, one of the first organizations to train dogs to assist the blind over 75 years ago. I've offered up some quick tips when meeting and greeting a working dog in public based on information from Guide Dogs for the Blind.
- First and foremost, remember guide dogs are responsible for leading someone who cannot see and should never be distracted from their duties. Remain calm in your approach and mannerisms in the pup's presence as to not take away concentration.
- It is okay to ask someone if you can pet their guide dog, but you should never simply stick your hand out to do so. Before asking, make sure the duo has completed the task at hand.
- Don't offer a guide dog treats as it can hinder his performance. These dogs are allowed to accompany their handlers in places where ordinary dogs cannot go. For example, it is important not to interfere with their training to never beg or accept food in restaurants.
- Although guide dogs cannot read traffic signals, they are responsible for helping their handlers safely cross a street. Don't be a distraction and never call out to a guide dog or block his path when walking, and don't honk your horn or call out to cross when driving.
To see a few more tips, read more.