Guide Dogs are professional working dogs. But before they receive their formal training, they are first and foremost good canine citizens. Guide Dogs for the Blind advocates that all pet dogs should be good canine citizens as well.
Sadly, there is a dog bite epidemic in the United States. There are 4.7 million victims annually—about 2% of the entire population, resulting in about a thousand people every day needing emergency room treatment. Most of these victims are children.
These statistics are frightening, and point out that aggressive, loose dogs pose a threat to all of us. They can be especially dangerous to a select group of people: those who use guide or service dogs. Therefore, good training and socialization not only make for healthier and happier pets (and pet owners!), but is a simple way to support working dogs by keeping them safe from attack.
We're asking you, as friends and supporters of our program, for your help. Please respond to our call to leadership by demonstrating responsible pet ownership. Our dogs and puppies thank you!
Watch this video from the California Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind about dog attacks on guide dogs (WMV).
Read some legislative success stories related to dog attacks:
- American Kennel Club Tips to Prevent Dog Bites
- American Kennel Club Responsible Dog Ownership Resources
- American Veterinary Medical Association: Selecting a proper pet
- Centers for Disease Control: Dog Bite Prevention
- San Francisco Chronicle: Responsible pet ownership article
- Information about aggressive dogs