As we celebrate International Guide Dog Day on April 27th, I’d like to thank the members of the public who resist patting, feeding or otherwise distracting working Guide Dogs in harness.
These amazing dogs, which cost more than $35,000 to breed, raise and train, assist those who are blind or vision impaired to safely and independently get to where they need to go.
Unfortunately, some people in the community continue to distract Guide Dogs. In a recent survey, 89% of Guide Dog handlers reported that their Guide Dog had been distracted by members of the public in the past 12 months.
It takes a great deal of concentration for a person who is blind or vision impaired to work safely with a Guide Dog and everyone in the community can do their part to make the daily travels of someone who has a Guide Dog a little easier. People who use Guide Dogs have been trained in the most effective ways to control their dog’s behaviour, so please only provide assistance if requested.
Thank you once again to all those who have been considerate, respectful and mindful of the potential issues caused by distracting a Guide Dog.
Dr Graeme White
CEO, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT