There are many types of assistance dogs, not just those that we have at VWD, and each one is incredibly important to their owner. Assistance dogs perform vital tasks for their human partner. They include guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired, dogs for those with physical disabilities, hearing dogs, medical alert dogs and mental health dogs. They provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship.
These dogs are specially bred and trained for these important jobs. There are guidelines people should follow when in the presence of a guide or assistance dog to allow for the safety of the dog and its handler. Disregarding these guidelines can distract the dog, which can create a dangerous situation for the team.
Please keep these assistance dog etiquette tips in mind when you see an assistance dog and its owner:
1. Speak to the owner not the dog