Posts Tagged ‘service dog’

Tips on Saying Hello to a Service Dog

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Learn From the Nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence on the Proper Etiquette for Interacting With an Assistance Dog Team

How should people behave around an assistance dog?

Have you seen a person with a disability in your community out and about with their assistance dog? Numbers of assistance dogs have been on the rise, providing life-changing independence and companionship to children, adults and veterans. But don’t rush to give that dog a belly rub, these aren’t your ordinary pet dogs. They have years of training under that dog collar and if working with their human partner, please remember a few guidelines.

The Americans With Disabilities Act guarantees people with disabilities the right to be accompanied by a service dog in all areas open to the
general public. The nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence, the first to train dogs for people with physical disabilities, has some tips to follow when meeting or approaching a working assistance dog and their partner:

— Don’t touch the dog without asking permission first! This is a distraction and may prevent the dog from working with their human
partner. Be sensitive to the fact the dog is working and may be in the middle of a command or direction. Most dogs need to be told to be
“released” from work mode to interact with someone.
— Never feed the dog. It may be on a special diet. Canine Companions for Independence dogs are generally on a feeding schedule as well. Food is
the ultimate distraction to the working dog and can jeopardize the working assistance dog team.
— Speak to the person, not the assistance dog. Most handlers do not mind talking about assistance dogs and their dog specifically if they have the time.
— Do not whistle or make sounds to the dog as this again may provide a dangerous distraction.
— Never make assumptions about the individual’s intelligence, feelings or capabilities. Offers of help are appreciated, but ask first. Usually, the human/dog team can get the task done by themselves.
— Don’t be afraid of the dog. There is no need to be afraid of a dog from a fully accredited program like Canine Companions for Independence. Our dogs are carefully tested and selected for appropriate temperament. They have been professionally trained to have excellent manners. Always approach an assistance dog calmly and speak to their human partner before touching or addressing the dog.

Canine Companions for Independence has placed over 3700 assistance dog teams, helping provide increased independence to a person with a disability. In honor of International Assistance Dog Week, new partnerships are forming across the country, with 62 more Canine Companions teams graduating August 12 and 13th. To learn more and attend a graduation ceremony visit or call 1-800-572-BARK.

Seeing Eye Hosts 3rd Annual Online Charity Auction April 29 to May 12

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Special Mother’s Day Category Will Close May 4

The Seeing Eye’s Third Annual Online Auction will open at 9 a.m. on April 29. All items in the auction catalog – including trips, sports tickets, and unique experiences at The Seeing Eye – are donated by generous individuals and organizations, and all proceeds from the final sale price of each item directly support Seeing Eye® programs. The online auction will take place at The auction will close at 10 p.m. on May 12.

“For more than 80 years, The Seeing Eye has worked hard to empower people who are blind and visually impaired by providing guide dogs that greatly enhance their mobility and independence,” said President & CEO Jim Kutsch. “The online auction has become a popular event and we are pleased to once again offer the public a chance to bid on a wide variety of items while supporting an organization whose mission impacts people across the United States and Canada.”

Some exciting auction items include a three-night stay at Atlantis in the Bahamas, tickets for four to attend a taping of TV Land’s hit sitcom “Hot in Cleveland” and a meet and greet with star Betty White, HumanWare’s Voice Note mPower, a limited edition Madison handbag by Coach, New York Yankees tickets, and unique Seeing Eye experiences such as a tour for two at The Seeing Eye’s breeding station, the opportunity to name a Seeing Eye puppy, and a day with a Seeing Eye trainer.

Other auction categories include weekend getaways, jewelry, items for dog lovers, sports memorabilia, and accessibility products. In addition, a new category will be dedicated to gifts for Mom on Mother’s Day. The Mother’s Day category will close on May 4 to allow time for shipping before the holiday.

Established in 1929, The Seeing Eye provides specially bred and trained dogs to guide people who are blind. Seeing Eye® dog users experience greatly enhanced mobility and independence, allowing them to retain their active lifestyles despite blindness. The Seeing Eye is a philanthropy supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, bequests, and other planned gifts.

The Seeing Eye is a trademarked name and can only be used to describe the dogs bred and trained at the school’s facilities in Morristown, N.J. If you would like more information on The Seeing Eye, please visit the website at, call (973) 539-4425, or email