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Guide dogs, (also known as service animals, assistance animals or colloquially as seeing eye dogs), are assistance dogs trained to lead blind and visually impaired people around obstacles. Although dogs can be trained to navigate various obstacles, many 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.

Contents

1 History 2 Research 3 Breeds 4 Accessibility 5 Discrimination 6 Benefits of owning a guide dog 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

History[edit]

A blind man with his guide dog in Montreal, 1941.

References to service animals date at least as far back as the mid-16th century; the second line of the popular verse alphabet "A was an Archer" is most commonly "B was a Blind-man/Led by a dog".[1] In the 19th-century verse novel Aurora Leigh
Aurora Leigh
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the title character remarks, "The blind man walks wherever the dog pulls / And so I answered."[2] The first service animal training schools were established in Germany during World War I
World War I
to enhance the mobility of returning veterans who were blinded in combat, but interest in service animals outside of Germany
Germany
did not become widespread until Dorothy Harrison Eustis, an American dog breeder living in Switzerland, wrote a first-hand account about a service animal training school in Potsdam, Germany, that was published in The Saturday Evening Post
The Saturday Evening Post
in 1927. That same year, United States Senator Thomas D. Schall of Minnesota was paired with a service animal imported from Germany,[3] who was trained by Jack Sinykin of Minnesota, owner of LaSalle Kennels[4]. The service animal movement did not take hold in America until Nashville resident Morris Frank returned from Switzerland
Switzerland
after being trained with one of Eustis's dogs, a female German shepherd named Buddy. Frank and Buddy embarked on a publicity tour to convince Americans of the abilities of service animals and the need to allow people with service animals access to public transportation, hotels, and other areas open to the public. In 1929, Eustis and Frank co-founded The Seeing Eye school in Nashville, Tennessee (relocated in 1931 to New Jersey).[5] The first service animals in Great Britain
Great Britain
were German shepherds. Four of these first were Flash, Judy, Meta, and Folly, who were handed over to their new owners, veterans blinded in World War I, on 6 October 1931 in Wallasey, Merseyside.[6] Judy's new owner was Musgrave Frankland.[7][8] In 1934, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
in Great Britain
Great Britain
began operation, although their first permanent trainer was a Russian military officer, Captain Nikolai Liakhoff, who moved to the UK in 1933.[8] Research[edit] Important studies on the behavior and training methods of service animals were done in the 1920s and 1930s by Jakob von Uexküll
Jakob von Uexküll
and Emanuel Georg Sarris. They studied the richness of service animals and introduced advanced methods of training. There have also been important studies into the discrimination experienced by people that use service and assistance animals.[9] Breeds[edit]

Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retriever
guide dogs resting

A group of Labradoodle
Labradoodle
guide and assistance dogs

Guide dog
Guide dog
breeds are chosen for temperament and trainability. Early on, trainers began to recognize which breeds produced dogs most appropriate for guide work; today, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and German Shepherds are most likely to be chosen by service animals facilities, although other breeds such as Standard Poodles and Vizslas may also be selected. Crosses such as Golden Retriever/Labrador (which combine the sensitivity of the Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever
and the tolerance of the Labrador Retriever)[10] and Labradoodles (Labrador/Poodles bred to help reduce allergens as all breeds shed but levels vary) are also common. The most popular breed used globally today is the Labrador Retriever. This breed has a good range of size, is easily kept due to its short coat, is generally healthy and has a gentle but willing temperament.[11] Accessibility[edit]

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A guide dog in Israel

Despite regulations or rules that deny access to animals in restaurants and other public places, in many countries, service animals are protected by law and therefore may accompany their handlers most places that are open to the public. Laws and regulations vary worldwide:

In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits any business, government agency, or other organization that provides access to the general public from barring service animals, except where their presence would cause a health or safety risk. However, religious organizations are not required to provide such access. Whether service animals in training have the same rights or not usually falls on each individual state government. In addition, the Fair Housing Act requires that landlords allow tenants to have service animals, as well as other types of assistance animals, in residences that normally have a No Pets policy and that no extra fees may be charged for such tenants. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity investigates complaints from the public alleging denials of reasonable accommodation requests involving assistance animals.[12] In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
the Equality Act 2010
Equality Act 2010
provides for people with disabilities to have the same right to services supplied by shops, banks, hotels, libraries, pubs, taxis and restaurants as everyone else. Service providers have to make "reasonable adjustments" to accommodate service animals and assistance animal owners. Under Part 12 of the EA it is illegal for assistance animal owners to be refused access to a taxi or mincab with their assistance animal, but medical exemptions are available if drivers have a certificate from their GPs.[13][14] In most South American countries and Mexico, service animal access depends solely upon the goodwill of the owner or manager. In more tourist-heavy areas, service animals are generally welcomed without problems. In Brazil, however, a 2006 federal decree requires allowance of service animals in all public and open- to-public places. The Brasília
Brasília
Metro has developed a program that trains service animals to ride it. In Malta, the Equal Opportunities Act 2000 (Cap. 413) states that it is illegal to discriminate against a disabled person who needs an assistant, in this case, a service animal. The few exceptions are restaurant kitchens, hospital special wards, toilets and premises where other animals are kept.[15] In Australia, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Disability Discrimination Act 1992
protects service animals handlers. Each state and territory has its own laws, which may differ slightly.[16] In Canada, service animals are allowed anywhere that the general public is allowed. Service Animal laws by province:

Alberta: Blind Persons' Rights Act[permanent dead link],[17] Service Dogs Act[18] British Columbia: Guide Animal Act[19] Manitoba: The Human
Human
Rights Code,[20] The Service Animals Protection Act[21] New Brunswick: Human
Human
Rights Act[22] Newfoundland & Labrador: Blind Persons' Rights Act[permanent dead link],[23] Human
Human
Rights Act[24] Northwest Territories: Human
Human
Rights Act[25] Nova Scotia: Blind Persons' Rights Act[permanent dead link],[26] Human Rights Act[27] Nunavut: Human
Human
Rights Act[28] Ontario: Blind Persons' Rights Act,[29] Accessibility
Accessibility
for Ontarians with Disabilities Act[permanent dead link],[30] Human
Human
Rights Code[31] Prince Edward Island: Human
Human
Rights Act[32] Quebec: Individuals with Disabilities Act[permanent dead link],[33] Charter of Human
Human
Rights and Freedoms[34] Saskatchewan: Human
Human
Rights Code[35] Yukon: Human
Human
Rights Act[36]

In South Korea, it is illegal to deny access to service animals in any areas that are open to the public. Violators are fined no more than 2 million won. In Portugal, service animals are allowed anywhere that the general public is allowed. The Law - Decreto-Lei n.74/2007 - Establish their rights.[37] In Switzerland, service animals are allowed anywhere that the general public is allowed.

Discrimination[edit] Further information: Islam and dogs Because some schools of thought in Islam consider dogs in general to be unclean,[38] many Muslim taxi drivers and store owners have refused to accommodate customers who have service animals, which has led to discrimination charges against them.[39] However, in 2003 the Islamic Sharia Council, a British organisation that provides non-binding guidance on interpreting Islamic religious law, ruled that the ban on dogs does not apply to those used for guide work.[40] Benefits of owning a guide dog[edit]

Elliot Aronson, a notable social psychologist and his guide dog, Desilu, whom he received in January 2011

Studies show owning a pet or therapy animal offer positive effects psychologically, socially, and physiologically. Guide dogs especially come with a variety of benefits and help in many ways. They give a blind person more confidence, friendship, and security.[41] Blind people who use service animals have increased confidence in going about day-to-day life and are comforted by a constant friend.[42] Companionship offered by a service dog helps reduce anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Because animals offer support, security, and companionship, stress is reduced, which in turn improves cardiovascular health. “A number of studies identify pet ownership as a factor in improved recovery from illness and in improved health in general”. Guide dogs make it easier to get around, resulting in the person getting more exercise or walking more.[41] People are more willing to go places and feel a sense of independence.[42] Meeting people and socializing is easier, and people are more likely to offer a blind person help when there is a service animal present.[41] The animals may also lead to increased interaction with other people. Animals are seen as “ice breakers” to a conversation with something to talk about.[42] In many cases, guide dogs offer a life changing experience. They are more advantageous than long canes when one is in an unfamiliar place. The animal directs the right path, instead of poking around wondering if you might bump into something. Guide dogs make the experience of the unknown more relaxing.[41] Getting from point A to point B using a guide dog is much faster and safer.[42] Owners of guide dogs share a special bond with their animal. Many report that the animal is a member of the family, and go to their animal for comfort and support. The animal isn’t seen as a working animal, but more as a loyal friend.[41] However it is important to remember that guide dogs are working animals and should not be distracted or treated as a normal animal while they are working. See also[edit]

Assistance dog Blindness Guide horse List of guide dog schools Service dog White cane

References[edit]

^ Opie, Iona and Peter Opie, ed. The Webster Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952. ^ Barrett Browning, Elizabeth. Aurora Leigh, Book V., ll. 1028-9. ^ Putnam, Peter Brock, Love in the Lead: The Miracle of the Seeing Eye Dog
Dog
(2nd edition), University Press of America, 1997, p. 20 ^ "Twin-Cities Jew First in America to Train Dogs to Lead the Blind". The Jewish Veteran. Jewish War Veterans of the United States
United States
of America. 1938. p. 7.  ^ Volunteers, Guide Dog
Dog
Users of Canada. "Guide Dog
Dog
Users of Canada
Canada
- History of Guide Dogs". gduc.ca. Retrieved 2016-11-03.  ^ Hughes, Lorna. " Dog
Dog
walk marks 80th anniversary of first guide dogs in Wallasey". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2016-06-17.  ^ Article(subscription required), The London Paper at exacteditions.com ^ a b "The History of Guide Dogs in Britain". The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Archived from the original (Microsoft Word document) on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2012.  ^ Uexküll, Jakob; Sarris, Emanuel Georg (1931). "Der Führhund der Blinden". Die Umschau. 35 (51): 1014–1016.  ^ DogTime http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/goldador#/slide/1. Retrieved 17 April 2017.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-12. Retrieved 2017-06-16.  ^ "People with Disabilities - HUD". Portal.hud.gov. 1991-03-13. Archived from the original on 2016-06-20. Retrieved 2016-06-17.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 25, 2015. Retrieved May 16, 2015.  ^ "Equality Act 2010". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-17.  ^ "Laws of Malta, Page 13, Cap. 413". Ministry for Justice, Culture, and Local Government. Malta
Malta
Justice Services. October 1, 2000. Retrieved February 25, 2016.  ^ " Disability
Disability
Discrimination Act 1992". www.comlaw.gov.au. Retrieved 2016-02-25.  ^ "Blind Persons' Rights Act, RSA 2000, c B-3". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Service Dogs Act, SA 2007, c S-7.5". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Guide Animal Act, RSBC 1996, c 177". Archived from the original on 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2016-02-29.  ^ "The Human
Human
Rights Code, CCSM c H175". Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2016-02-29.  ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Archived from the original on 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2016-02-29.  ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Archived from the original on 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2016-02-29.  ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Captcha". Retrieved 2016-02-29. [permanent dead link] ^ "Euroacessibilidade - Acessibilidade em Estado de Sítio". www.euroacessibilidade.com. Archived from the original on 2007-07-31. Retrieved 2016-02-25.  ^ Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, s.v. "Dogs in the Islamic Tradition and Nature." New York: Continuum International, forthcoming 2004. By: Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl ^ Dolan, Andy (19 July 2010). "Muslim bus drivers refuse to let guide dogs on board". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 4 May 2012. The problem to carry guide dogs on religious grounds has become so widespread that the matter was raised in the House of Lords last week, prompting transport minister Norman Baker to warn that a religious objection was not a reason to eject a passenger with a well-behaved guide dog.  ^ "Guide dogs not haram, rules Shariah". Asian News. MEN Media. 1 February 2003. Retrieved 4 May 2012. ... guide dogs can accompany disabled people into restaurants or taxis managed or driven by Muslims.  ^ a b c d e Whitmarsh, Lorraine (April 2005). "The Benefits Of Guide Dog
Dog
Ownership". Visual Impairment Research. 7 (1): 27–42. doi:10.1080/13882350590956439.  ^ a b c d Joy-Taub Miner, Rachel (Winter 2001). "The experience of living with and using a guide dog". RE:view. 32 (4). Retrieved 6 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

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