In honor of International Assistance Dog Week, we’re recognizing the hardworking assistance dogs that are transforming the lives of their human partners every day. We’re also celebrating the organizations that raise and train these heroic canines.
First up, Canine Companions for Independence, which provides highly trained assistance dogs free of charge to individuals with disabilities. Being an assistance dog-in-training is hard work.
The things you can train a dog to do are incredible!
Purchasing tickets at a kiosk is no problem for these pups.
Who can resist this pair of adorable faces?!
Guide dog etiquette reminder: When a guide dog is in harness, they need to remain focused on working with attention on their handler. Never pet a working dog, as this can distract them from their very important work. ⠀ ⠀ It's important to always ask before interacting with a guide dog. Even when the dog is out of harness and not actually guiding, the handler is responsible for their behavior to ensure they are well-mannered. Always ask for permission before interacting with the dog so that the handler can maintain control. ⠀ ⠀ Picture Description: Guide dog Wyatt, a black Labrador retriever in harness, guides his handler Jywanza across the crosswalk at a busy New York City intersection. Wyatt guides his handler around a man on a bike who stopped directly on the crosswalk while waiting for the stoplight.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #GuideDog #DogsOfNewYork #DogsOfNY #WorkingDog #WorkingDogsOfIG #WorkingDogsOfInsta #ServiceDog #AssistanceDog #GuideDogTeam #GuidingEyes #GuidingEyesfortheBlind #NYLife #UnlimitedNewYork #simply_newyork #NYDog #NYPix #DogsThatTravel #DogsWithJobs #WorkingDogsOfInstagram #ServiceDogTeam #ServiceDogsOfIG #DogDaysOfInstagram #DogsAreAwesome #DogFeatures #Blind #Blindness #VisuallyImpaired #InstaMemory
But even seeing-eye dogs get a little goofy sometimes.
#FridayFeels brought to you by guide dog Vereen. Tomorrow, Vereen will graduate from our Residential Training program with his handler, Christine! (And yes, they do rhyme! 😉) Congrats to this new #GuideDog team and our entire class of July 2018. 🐶 Join us tomorrow (July 21st) at 1:15 PM for the graduation ceremony at our Yorktown Heights, NY campus. Can't make it in person? We've got you covered! All our monthly graduation ceremonies are live-streamed and archived on our Youtube page. Read more about this month’s graduates by clicking the link in our bio. 💕 (Picture Description: Vereen, a yellow Labrador retriever in harness, lays on hid back with his belly up at the White Plains training house. Vereen has a tired and happy grin on his face with his teeth barely visible as he looks toward the camera while laying upside down.) Picture Credit: @kellmags . . . . . #GuidingEyes #ThatFridayFeeling #BoopMyNose #BoopMySnoot #BoopTheNose #BoopTheSnoot #BoopBoop #Boopable #Cheesin #Goofball #ThatSmileTho #Labradorable #SillyDog #SillyPup #WorkingDogsOfIG #WorkingDog #WorkingDogsOfInstagram #WorkingDogsOfInsta #RetrieverFever #AllSmiles #AllSmilesHere #FinallyFriday #LabradorOfficial #LaughMore #MakesMeSmile #MakesYouSmile #WoofAlong
Double the dogs, double the training!
Volunteer puppy-raiser Samantha took Chet and Harpo to Jones Beach to watch the @USNavyBlueAngels practice. Harpo is visiting Samantha and Chet while on a puppy-sit. Good work, team!⠀ #TeamworkMakesTheDreamWork⠀ 📷: @samanthagrgas⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #GuidingEyes #FutureGuideDog #SDiT #JonesBeach #BlueAngels #WoofWednesday #JonesBeachAirShow #PuppyRaiser #DogSquad #SquadGoals #DogFriends #VolunteerLife #DogsOfNY #DogsOfLongIsland #BeachDogs #BeachDogsOfInstagram #BlackLabSquad #DogTeam #PerfectDog #PerfectPup #PerfectPups #DogsOfNewYork #WaggingWednesday #USNavyBlueAngels #DogSquadGoals
America’s VetDogs matches service dogs to veterans and first responders. Below, Sully, a yellow Lab, assists former President George H.W. Bush on a walk.
@wethedogsdc writes, "I LOVE my walks. I've been trained to walk next to my boss— and he always holds my leash as we go out. (Photo credit: Office of George Bush)" Pictured: VetDogs yellow Labrador #servicedog, Sully, walking alongside George H.W. Bush in Maine. Visit Sully.VetDogs.org (link in bio) to learn about Sully, and help support America's VetDogs today.
Only service dogs-in-training could pose so perfectly for a picture.
This #Fridaythe13th we happened to photograph 13 new service dogs in for training, and one is even named Lucky! Pictured: a group photo of Butkus, Felix, Knight, Halo, Jumba, Hooper, Lucky, Quint, Shelby, Mercy, Hoover, Noble, and Liberty. Yellow Lab, Lucky, is sitting in the center of the photo on a jump table, with two yellow Labs flanking him. There are four black Labs sitting in front of the table, and three on either side. An America's VetDogs banner is hanging above the table in our Training Center. Scroll to the second photo to see our instructors setting up the shot with positive reinforcement and praise.
A beautiful day for a trip to the beach!
It has been a gorgeous week for the beach! Do your dogs love the beach? Tag us in your beach photos today 😀 Pictured: a veteran and his black Labrador service dog enjoying some down time at Sunken Meadow State Park on the North Shore of Long Island. The veteran is sitting on a concrete bench that overlooks the Long Island Sound. His service dog is lying at his feet, and she has her paws up on the railing along the boardwalk. They are looking in opposite directions.
The Guide Dog Foundation provides guide dogs at no cost to people who are blind or have low vision. In the video below, a guide dog-in-training learns “under.”
#TrainingTuesday: Here’s a clip of Sunny working the behavior we call “under” in a new location. This skill can be used to cue the dog to lie down under a seat, desk, bench, or table. @_oliviapoff is using a very subtle leash cue to make sure Sunny lines up with the length of the table vs turning his body in to face her. This prompt will be faded quickly, so the behavior is completely on verbal cue for Sunny’s future #guidedog user! @todaypuppy #todaypuppysquad
Meanwhile, Carson the black Lab is hard at work and loving every minute of it.
This duo is all smiles (and tongues!)
@sandydaysahead says, "Got to play with my big brother @followinmytracks today! We had SO much fun at the dog park (and are now completely worn out😇) Pictured is Sandy on the right with yellow lab Tracker on the left under a picnic table. Both have huge smiles on their faces!" Interested in becoming a volunteer puppy raiser? Visit the link in our bio for information 🐾
The Ready Litter is excited to let everyone know that @helpingpawsmn will be one of the recipients of this year’s @thetimmcgraw charity concert at #LibertyOnTheLake hosted by @snapfitness ! This morning these future service dogs cued up Alexa to play some @thetimmcgraw music! As you can see they LOVED it! We are grateful to be a part of this fantastic event supporting veterans. #libertyonthelake #timmcgraw #snapfitness #helpingpawsmn #futureservicedogs #independence #veteransPTSD
These two are totally twinning. How adorable.
Guide Dogs of America provides blind and visually impaired individuals with professionally trained guide dogs free of charge. Becoming a guide dog-handler team is no easy feat. It takes time, practice, and patience.
A couple weeks back we graduated class #405. We use the term graduation lightly at GDA. Making it through our 21-day class is no small feat, don't get us wrong. But the truth is that when a new guide dog team goes home for the first time, the work is just beginning. It takes time for you to learn your new companion and for them to learn you. It is a journey to get to a truly seamless relationship, and there are plenty of bumps and turns along the way, pun intended. This is why GDA offers extensive post graduate services to help all of our teams new or old succeed. Our training department is always available over the phone to talk to graduates that might be hitting a snag with their new companions. Usually a few tips and some determination can solve the problem. If not, and the problem persists we send a trainer out to the graduate to work through the issue together. For any current graduates do not hesitate to call our post graduate services department for help if you need it. Image description: a GDA student working with a trainer on a sidewalk #Guidedogsofamerica #Guidedog #blindness #visionloss #servicedog #instagramdogoftheday #petstagramdaily #dogs_of_instagram #puppylovers #weeklyfluffballs #ilovemydoggy #doglovers #dogoftheday #dogsofla #doglover🐶 #doglifestyle #instapet #lovepuppy
This pair is totally in sync. They even pose for pictures exactly the same way!
For returning graduates getting a new guide dog presents its own unique set of challenges. Challenges that are just as difficult as your first time learning to use a guide dog. Graduate Jeff who has working guide Kaleb says,"There's always a period of adjustment when you go home. With every dog, you have to learn about their personality. Every dog is a little different in how they tell you tings, but we learn to communicate through the harness with one another." Just like snowflakes, no one team is ever created the same. Image description: a man sitting in a striped shirt next to his black and brown german shepherd Kaleb #Guidedogsofamerica #Guidedog #blindness #visionloss #servicedog #instagramdogoftheday #petstagramdaily #dogs_of_instagram #puppylovers #weeklyfluffballs #ilovemydoggy #doglovers #dogoftheday #dogsofla #doglover🐶 #doglifestyle #instapet #germanshepherd #germanshepherdguidedog #shepherdsofinstagram #shepherdsofig #shepherdloversclub
Distraction training is essential for any future guide dog. It’s not always the easiest thing, though.
“Remember fish are friends not food.” Here is puppy in training June working on distraction training. Credit: @charlenekellygagnon Video description: a black lab next to a koi pond • • • • • • #guidedogsofamerica #guidedog #blindness #visionloss #servicedog #instagramdogoftheday #petstagramdaily #dogs_of_instagram #puppylovers #weeklyfluffballs #blacklabdaily #fishtagram #koi #koipond #koifish #koifishpond
We’re thankful for all these dedicated pups and the positive impact they make on the lives of their owners.
Do you or someone you know have a canine companion that’s a star? Email us at ContentTeam@akc.org for a chance to be featured in our weekly series! And make sure to follow the AKC on Instagram for your daily dog fix.