How Guide Dogs React At Getting Attack?


one of the guide dogs at work I read the following news here recently and felt an urge to discuss the reaction of guide dogs when they have been attacked.    (Photo: Flickr/kenjonbro)

“A Budleigh guide dog owner is asking fellow pet owners to be careful after a terrifying incident where her dog was attacked.
Penny Gatter, 67, who has very limited vision, was walking on Budleigh seafront with her dog Milo, a four-year-old Labrador/retriever cross, when another dog approached them.
It attacked Milo, who due to his guide dog training and non-aggressive character did not attempt to defend himself.”

I read similar stories with compassion toward the aggrieved party always. As a dog lover and keeper for decades, I’m aware that dog attacks are inevitable sometimes. It follows from that the attacked dog becomes affected badly at that time – due to their training.

How Trained Guide Dogs Behave

A guide dog must meet the multifaceted system requirements. It should be strong and courageous, tenacious, yet gentle, human-loving and free from aggression. Additionally, it should be a docile, intelligent, obedient, yet self-thinker and distinct.

Only those canines which possess these properties can be trained successfully to be a guide dog. Just imagine: the human’s fate and life depend on them. (The bests for this mission are the German Shepherd, Labrador/Golden Retriever, Giant Schnauzer, Newfoundland, English Setter, Airedale Terrier.)

As you can see from the above, guide dogs have been trained to provide assistance and not for attacking.


For instance, you may have read in the USA Today that a guide dog tried to save his owner from crashing with its own body in Brewster.

The visually impaired Audrey Stone and her dog, Figo tried to cross the road in New York City in the morning. However, a driver of a minibus transporting school children didn’t recognize them in time.

The Golden Retriever quickly jumped into between the bus and his owner to catch a collision. And with his self-sacrifice certainly saved his owner from possible more severe injuries.

A well-trained assistance dog will not assault in return for a similar attack – even at the cost over its life – due to their training.

But let’s go back to the introductory story.

Milo’s owner said: ” When Milo was attacked he stood right next to me and never moved, and this dog was just lunging at him.”

Luckily, Milo suffered only bruising outwardly, but he could get a shock that might result in giving up the service. Unfortunately, there are examples in this regard as well.

What Statistics Say

I also read a related statistic performed by dog researchers. According to that, 240 guide dog suffered by dog attack between March 2011 and February 2013. That’s roughly ten assaults monthly and shows upward trend.

In the aforesaid period, five seeing-eye canines retired due to the shock acquired by the attack. The financial implication of this calculated £ 171.657. And we didn’t mention the emotional feelings of the needy person.

Just imagine the bond between the needy individual and a guide dog developed during the service. That is much more and deep compared to between a sighted owner and their pet.

And an attack could result in both the dog, and the visually impaired do not want to go outside anymore.

My Take on It

I know from experience that most of these attack on guide dogs – or other canines – could be preventable. The society doesn’t have to do other than properly handle the irresponsible dog ownership. Namely, I see the main trigger cause for dog attacks in that. Hopefully, more and more dog owners will be careful not to hurt these human helping animals.

Until next time,

Alex Sparrow

Alex Sparrow

Alex Sparrow

Alex Sparrow is a nature enthusiastic for more than seven decades. He was writing nearly 400 articles, reports so far about how to live with your dogs harmoniously.
Alex Sparrow