Today, 27th of april, we celebrate de international day of the guide dog and we like to speak about of their amazing work of this dogs
What is a guide dog?
The guide dog or assistance dogs are dogs specifically trained to help and accompany a one person with visual disability, improving their autonomy and mobility. They are trained to recognise and avoid obstacles, like static or in movement, either at ground level or at height.
They are capable of signaling to their owner the arrival of a curb, stairs or slopers in their routes. They look for access doors, free seats on public transport and will always take the initiative to find the best alternative route in every situation
This work makes a difference in the lives of these people, allowing them to be independent and, at same time, to feel safe. And is very important to highlight the fundamental role they play, not only for themselves and for the society
And in this day and for always, it is also crucial to highlight the work of those trainers who train and train these animals for months and years
How to act with a guide dog?
Considering the incredible work that they do, the least we can do isn`t to interfere or harm their work
It is important to know that a guide dog isn’t a dog like any other dog. it should be treated differently from other furry dogs, as these animals perform a double function: guide and companion
If at any time we meet an assistance dog, we mustn’t touch or pet it when it is in harness because this means that it is working. under no circumstances should we distract the animal as this would put the person’s safety at risk. the best thing to do, unless the owner tells us otherwise, is to ignore it and leave it alone
In this case, if we are walking with our dog, it is important to be on the lookout nearby, as it is likely that our dog will want to greet it or lay with it. and in any case, we should always communicate with the person and never with the dog, as while on duty, it will only attend to its owner
For example, a person accompanied by a guide dog asks for help, we should approach then from the right side, so that the dog will be on the left and will know that it is “ temporarily off duty”
With this issue, it is important to raise awareness from our position. we must be respectful and encourage the movement of these users to maintain their safety and when we don’t know how to act the best thing to do is always to ask
In addition, we must remember the importance of these dogs being able to access all types of spaces, establishments and public transport since, as we said before, their job is to accompany their owner at all times
At the same time, we take advantage of this day to highlight the need to create accessible cities, with good infrastructures and designed for any type of need and person