Out and about with a guide dog FAQs

Out and about with a guide dog

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.

The Equality Act 2010 means that guide dogs are now accepted in most public places, including shops and restaurants. Guide dog owners are given an Assistance Dogs UK ID book which contains information about the owner and their dog, and details of the training organisation. It also has information about the laws which support the rights of assistance dog owners and their dog.

There may be occasions where you could encounter difficulties with a guide dog being admitted. If you are unable to resolve this, then you should contact your local Guide Dogs Mobility Team.

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 UK for taxis to refuse to carry guide dogs, unless an exemption certificate is displayed.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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 an incident investigation will be completed.