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assistance dog week

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.

Shoes to match at #cciteam2018 #sleepypup #ccivolunteer

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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?!

Guiding Eyes for the Blind trains and provides guide dogs to people with vision loss. Even in the busy streets of NYC, this Lab has no problem leading his handler.

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

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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

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Double the dogs, double the training!

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.

Only service dogs-in-training could pose so perfectly for a picture.

A beautiful day for a trip to the beach!

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.”

Meanwhile, Carson the black Lab is hard at work and loving every minute of it.

This duo is all smiles (and tongues!)

Helping Paws breeds, trains, and places assistance dogs with individuals who have physical disabilities and veterans with PTSD.

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

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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

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Distraction training is essential for any future guide dog. It’s not always the easiest thing, though.

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 for a chance to be featured in our weekly series! And make sure to follow the AKC on Instagram for your daily dog fix.
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