If you see a guide dog or autism support dog wearing a special harness with a handle on it, it means the dog is working.
- Please don’t pet a guide dog wearing a harness. You may ask the owner if you can. Sometimes they may let you; other times they ask you not to. It’s the same thing with guide dog puppies in training. They need to learn that when they are wearing their “vest”, they are working. As soon as the vest or cape is removed, the dog learns that they are “off duty”.
- Please don’t talk to a guide dog that is working. Dogs need to concentrate to be able to do their best work and having other people talk to them or calling them is distracting.
- Never give food or treats to a guide dog, even if you are in a restaurant and the dog is under a table. They are fed very special dog food and anything else may make them sick.
- Do feel free to say hello to the owner and tell them you think their dog is beautiful. They think so too.
- Guide dogs give blind/visually-impaired people and children with autism and their families independence and freedom. If the person needs your help, they will ask for it. Otherwise, treat the dog’s owner just like you do everyone else you meet.
Here is helpful video on Assistance Dogs and Guide Dogs presented by 7-Eleven.