Puppy Raising Etiquette

All puppies, especially guide dog puppies, need to be taught boundaries and manners. Our puppies will eventually be with their partner all day so early on they need to learn how to behave appropriately. The guidelines below will help you raise an enjoyable companion.

If you have any questions or are facing challenges with these guidelines please contact your advisor or area coordinator.

Public etiquette

When you are in public with your puppy you are an ambassador for the Guide Dog Foundation and the rest of the assistance dog community. You are representing yourself, other puppy raisers, and assistance dog users. It is important to have a positive public perception and interact with the public in a polite manner. We know that puppies aren’t always on their best behavior so if they aren’t behaving it is sometimes best to leave the environment you’re in and try again another time.

If someone has a negative experience with you and your puppy it could possibly lead to other puppy raisers or people with guide or service dogs being denied access to public places.

Puppy etiquette

  • Relieve the pup as needed to prevent accidents. Younger pups might need an opportunity before and after they arrive to the destination. Older dogs are expected to have duration and routine.
  • If your puppy does have an accident please clean it up. Always carry a cleanup kit with you.
  • If your puppy becomes too excited or hard to control please remove your puppy from the setting.
  • Do not allow your puppy to jump on or solicit attention from people in public.
  • Always have a clean, well-groomed pup and a clean puppy vest on your puppy in public settings.
  • Regularly wash your puppy’s vest to keep it clean. If your vest becomes stained, torn, or needs to be replaced please contact your advisor or area coordinator for a new one.


People etiquette

  • The public is watching how you handle your puppy – remember to always follow our protocols and treat your puppy and the environment with respect.
  • Because you have a puppy in public, people will often ask questions. Be prepared to speak with new people who are interested about puppy raising or guide dogs.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and the ability of your puppy. Do not bring your puppy into settings that will overwhelm or stress your puppy.
  • Do not try to force or argue your way into a business or public place. You can politely educate people on why it’s important your puppy visits and then thank them for their time.
  • If your puppy has an accident and you don’t have adequate cleanup supplies let someone know so they can help you find the right supplies.