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What exactly are guide dogs?

Guide dogs, (also known as service animals or assistance animals), are assistance dogs trained to lead blind and visually impaired people around obstacles.

Although the dogs can be trained to navigate various obstacles, lots of them are (red–green) color blind and are not capable of interpreting street signs. The human does the directing, based on skills acquired through previous mobility training. The handler might be likened to an aircraft’s navigator, who must know how to get from one place to another, and the dog is the pilot, who gets them there safely.

In several countries, guide dogs, along with most service and hearing dogs, are exempt from regulations against the presence of animals in places such as restaurants and public transportation.

singapore guide dogs for blind visual disabled

DID YOU KNOW?

  1. Guide dogs are legally permitted to travel on all public transport.
  2. They are also allowed to enter food establishments including halal restaurants.
  3. They are trained to relieve themselves on command.
  4. Most guide dogs are Labradors and Golden Retreivers or crosses of both because of their extremely mild temperament and eagerness to work.
  5. A guide dog needs to focus on its job, so please do not distract it when it’s on duty.

According to Mr. S. Satish Apoo, the National Environment Agency’s Director of Environmental Health, he stated clearly that Guide Dogs are the only animals allowed in food outlets as long as they are on a leash and kept at the owner’s side at all times. This is in a response to a complaint published by “My Paper”.

Humanity?

Discriminating a visually impaired person with a guide dog is no diference of discriminating a blind person who is on a walking stick. In most developed countries, people have accepted guide dogs as they have accepted people on wheelchairs, walking sticks, crutches or hearing aids.

When we hear people passing remarks “Yucks, that is a dirty dog, why are there in here”. Many do not realize, a guide dog is the pair of eyes for the visually impaired, and entering eateries or taking a public transport is not just a privilege, it is civil and human rights.

If you feel discomfortable with the idea, you should maintain a distance or keep a distance. There is really no reason to comment nor complain. And honestly, the dog is probably more well-behaved and well-manner to those who simply complain without bearing a single ounce of consideration for the blind person.

For more information on Singapore Guide Dogs, please visit http://www.guidedogs.org.sg