Guide Dogs unveil paw-some new look

January 18, 2018
A Yellow and a Black Labrador puppy sitting outside wearing orange training jackets

Cuteness alert! There will be no fashion “fur-paws” in sight as Guide Dogs Australia harnesses a fresh new uniform look for our iconic Guide Dogs.

Guide Dogs SA/NT CEO Aaron Chia said it was a significant step to unveil the new coats, which will be uniform across the country for the first time to make Guide Dogs-in-training more easily recognised when working. You will start seeing them out and about soon when the weather is much cooler.

“Our Guide Dogs have been working in local communities for more than 60 years and provide a life-changing service to those with limited or no vision,” Mr Chia said.

“At any one time, there may be more than 600 pups and dogs being trained in communities across Australia to take on a special role as a Guide Dog or in South Australia as an Autism Assistance Dog.

“While our Guide Dog harnesses for working dogs are easily recognisable, the launch of these new training coats for dogs still learning to guide is particularly significant, as it’s the first nationally branded Guide Dogs coat to be used across the country.

The new coats feature a reflective bright orange colour for visibility and are made of a highly breathable material to keep the dogs cool – and looking cool – when they are working.  What’s more important though, is what they represent.

“When you see a Guide Dog wearing one of our new coats in the community, it means they are on an important journey and working towards fulfilling the life-changing role of being someone’s guiding eyes,” Mr Chia said.

“Whether a dog is walking, sitting or sleeping, a Guide Dog should not be patted, fed or distracted.

“We’re asking the community to do their bit by making sure our handlers and their dogs feel welcome, and that your pet dog is on a leash and under control whenever you see a Guide Dog in harness or in one of our new bright orange training coats.”

The new coats were made possible thanks to the support of Guide Dogs Australia’s national partner ADVANCE and are the result of a period of testing and consultation with all Guide Dog schools across the country.

Guide Dog etiquette:

As we launch our new coats, here are some pints to keep in mind when you see a dog or puppy wearing a Guide Dogs coat:

When a Guide Dog is in harness or wearing a coat, it is working. Whether it is walking, sitting or sleeping, it should not be patted, fed or distracted.

If for any reason you need to interact with a Guide Dog, please ensure you check with its handler first.

Please make sure that your pet dog is on a leach or under effective control around a Guide Dog. When approaching a Guide Dog Team, it may be polite to let the handler know that you have a dog.

By law Guide Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs and Hearing Dogs are permitted by law to go anywhere their handler can, including restaurants, taxis and shopping centres. They are not allowed in zoos or hospital surgical theatres.

Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 (South Australia)
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth)

About Guide Dogs Australia:

Guide Dogs Australia is a brand that represents Australia’s state-based Guide Dog organisations


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