Working the guide dog

Can I take the dog to work?

In most cases employers are happy for the guide dog to go into the workplace, and you would probably be using the dog in order to travel to work. You would need to ensure that there is somewhere suitable for the dog in the workplace (for example under the desk), and that you make provision for the dog to relieve itself during the day. Guide Dogs staff are happy to discuss this in more detail with employers if there are any questions.



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Is the guide dog allowed into shops and public places?

The Disability Discrimination Act means that guide dogs are now accepted in most public places, including shops and restaurants. However, there may be occasions where you could encounter difficulties with a guide dog being admitted. This would be an issue to raise with your local Guide Dogs Mobility Team.



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Is the guide dog allowed to go in a car, and can I take the dog in a taxi?

A guide dog can travel in a private vehicle as long as it is appropriately secured. This may include secure caging, dog guards or a harness, or travelling in the front foot well when accompanied by a responsible person. Since the recent passage of a bill through parliament it is now against the law in most of the country for taxis to refuse to carry guide dogs.



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Can I use public transport with the dog?

The dog will be used to travelling on buses and trains and should lie down quietly either under or between the seats.



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Should I take the guide dog everywhere with me?

Sometimes it may be more convenient to leave the dog at home, or it may be that you are going somewhere very noisy, smoky or busy where you do not need the dog to work. For this reason it is a good idea to get it into the habit of being left occasionally for two to three hours at a time.



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How long does it take to get used to working the dog?

It is easy for people to expect too much too soon. It generally takes six months to a year for the new dog and owner to overcome any teething troubles and begin to work together in harmony.



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Will the Guide Dogs Mobility Team keep in touch once I have completed

Yes, staff at your local mobility team will keep in touch with you. Visits are arranged as required and are carried out by an instructor to check that you are working happily and safely together. Later in the dog’s working life these visits also provide a chance to plan ahead for the dog’s retirement.



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What if a problem arises?

If a problem arises with the guide dog you can contact your local mobility team and an instructor will make a priority visit if appropriate.



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What if the dog has an accident involving someone else?

Guide Dogs has third party liability insurance for its working dogs to protect guide dog owners should there be an incident involving the guide dog. If you (while working your dog) or your dog (at any time) is involved in an incident that causes an injury to you, your dog or any other person or animal, it must be reported to your mobility team at the earliest opportunity and a incident investigation will be completed.



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How do I look after the dog?

During training we ensure that you receive enough training to be able to look after the care and welfare of the dog. You will be required to take your dog to the vet every six months for a routine check up and worming. In addition, the dog will need to be weighed on a regular basis.



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