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Guide dogs are officially Amazing Animals!

05 Oct 2017

Guide Dog Trainer Georgina Butcher With Guinness World Records Editor -in -chief , Craig Glenday

Guide Dogs is delighted to appear in the very first edition of a new book from Guinness World Records, called Amazing Animals.

Available to buy now, Amazing Animals features Guide Dogs because the charity holds the world record title for the Most guide dogs trained by an organisation. Our record stands at 33,910 guide dogs trained at the end of 2016.

To celebrate the achievement, we’ve put together a list of just some of the reasons that guide dogs are amazing animals. Did you know…?

  • Guide dogs are trained to play with other dogs when they aren’t wearing their white and yellow harness, but to ignore other dogs when their owner puts their harness on – it’s like they go into work mode.
  • It’s the person who decides to cross a road, not the guide dog! But, if the dog sees a nearby moving vehicle that their owner might not have noticed, a guide dog will deliberately ignore any command to walk out in front of it. It’s called ‘intelligent disobedience’!
  • Guide dogs can go to the loo on command. If they’re flying long distance, they can even go to the loo on a portable toilet mat!
  • A guide dog can find their owner’s home in a street where all the houses are very similar, and the owner has no clues or landmarks as to which is their house.
  • If they’re on a bus or train, a guide dog can take their owner to an empty seat. Guide dogs are also trained to steer their owner towards the button boxes at pedestrian crossings, or the handrails at a set of stairs.
  • Guide dogs are trained to take their owner’s height into account, and how wide the pair are, when walking along a pavement. If a gap’s too narrow, or something’s hanging low overhead, a guide dog will refuse to go any further.

Wendy Rankin, Director of Mobility Services at Guide Dogs, said: “We’re incredibly proud to hold the record for the Most guide dogs trained by an organisation, as our iconic guide dog service is at the heart of our charity.

“Since 1931, we’ve transformed the lives of thousands of people with sight loss by partnering them with a guide dog, helping them to take control of their lives safely and confidently. It’s wonderful to have our dedication recognised with a Guinness World Records title.”