Guide dog etiquette
Roughly 10,000 guide dogs are in service throughout the United States and Canada. Acclaimed poet and disability rights advocate Stephen Kuusisto, director of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, joined SU this fall and is accompanied by his working dog, Nira.
When you come across a person using a guide dog, please remember that they are concentrating on working together as a team. For the safety of the person and their dog, keep in mind these tips on guide dog etiquette:
- Don’t disturb or pet a dog that is working in harness.
- Ask permission first before approaching or petting a dog that is not working.
- Don’t offer food or treats to a guide dog; unscheduled feeding may hamper the dog’s ability to work.
- If you wish to assist a person with a guide dog, ask if you can be of help; offer your left elbow for the person to hold; don’t touch or grab the dog, harness, leash or the person’s arm.