Leader Dog Etiquette
Leader Dogs provide independent travel for thousands of people around the world. As friends, family and co-workers, we must respect the role these dogs play in their lives. While Leader Dog clients realize that their guide dogs create unique social situations, you can help by following some simple suggestions.
Please remember the following when encountering a person with a Leader Dog:
- A Leader Dog is a working dog and should not be petted or called without its handler’s permission. A Leader Dog is on duty when in harness, even when sitting or lying down.
- Avoid making eye contact with a working dog, which can be distracting to the animal.
- Do not take hold of the Leader Dog or its harness without permission. Often, if a person who is blind needs assistance, he or she will ask for it. If it appears the person needs help, ask first.
- When providing directions to a person who is using a Leader Dog, speak to the person, not the dog. Be sure to use detailed, easy-to-follow indicators like, “Go north two blocks then east,” or “Turn left and go two blocks.”
- Please do not feed a Leader Dog, whether on or off duty, as they follow a veterinarian-prescribed diet.
- A Leader Dog team has the right of way and, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, is required to be allowed access everywhere the public is allowed.