Is that guide dog in training?

Is that dog in training?

This is a question that many guide dog handlers get asked. For quite a few guide dog handlers this is a question they hate. For some they see this question as meaning some offence. When these individuals get asked this question their first thought is to snap back at the person that had the nerve to ask.

There are others that see the other side of this question, a way that is not meant to be offensive. They take this opportunity to educate instead of making the person feel or look like an idiot.

There is no right or wrong way to answer this question. I fall in the camp that takes the time to educate. The public does not know what goes on in the world of guide dogs and their handlers. How can they learn if they don’t ask even if they ask such questions that may be upsetting or even idiotic depending on who you are.

Is that dog in training?

My answer, of course. My dog is always in training. We are constantly learning about each other. I am always training him/her how to find what I need, a door, a bus stop or a pole.

My dog is always training me to what he or she means when its tail wags, what sounds let me know that my dog needs out like right now…move it or as we become a stronger team how best to follow my dog safely.

What to think when this question is asked because the public saw your dog do something it’s not suppose to and has to get in trouble. Do you snap at them? Well, some would. Again, no right or wrong, but all in how the person sees it.

In a case like this I just kindly tell the person that having a dog is just like having a child. Our puppy constantly needs reminding. you are always a parent to your child even when you know they should know better.

If you have thoughts on this topic I’d love to hear them. Remember there’s no right or wrong. No one would be judged if you care to post.

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