How to Be a Responsible Pet Owner

Dogs provide great companionship, but owning a pet involves serious responsibilities. Making your pet a welcome part of the neighborhood benefits everyone, including those with Seeing Eye dogs.

It only takes an instant for tragedy to strike. Dog attacks and interference are largely preventable. The first step is to realize that any dog, even a family pet, is capable of causing harm if it is threatened, in pain, out of control, protecting its "territory" or deliberately/inadvertently trained to be aggressive. Obeying leash laws and keeping control of your pet go a long way toward preventing attacks against and interference with guide dog teams.

Even the neighbor's pet that runs out to "greet" the team, the family "guard" dog who menacingly growls and barks while circling the team as they pass by, or the well-meaning pet owner who brings their leashed canine over to "visit" with a Seeing Eye dog can inadvertently jeopardize the safety of the team.

You Can Help!

  • Learn what you can do to help keep guide dog teams safe at
  • Help prevent attacks on Seeing Eye dogs - share our flyer with your community, in English or in Spanish!
  • Please ignore working dogs when you encounter them. Petting, talking to, or making deliberate, prolonged eye contact with a working guide dog is distracting to the dog.
  • Never let your dog near a guide dog, even if your dog is leashed. Guide dogs are working animals and must not be distracted from their duties.
  • Report loose dogs in your neighborhood to police and animal control.
  • Offer assistance to a blind handler if you witness an attack or interference. If it is your dog that causes harm, do the right thing and take responsibility.
  • Obey the law and keep your dog under control at all times. Allowing dogs to run loose, using retractable leashes in populated areas, and leaving dogs tied up unattended in a public place endanger the guide dog team and your own dog.

Related Information

For more information, contact The Seeing Eye Advocacy Specialist at (973) 539-4425 or email