Tasks: Guide Dogs

The following are general tasks for guide dogs. This list may not be fully inclusive as each individual's needs may differ.


  1. Navigate around stationary obstacles like a lamp post, parking meters, pillars.
  2. Navigate around hazards like an open manhole and deep potholes.
  3. Navigate around low hanging obstacles like awnings or a tree branch to avoid a collision.
  4. Avoid moving objects such as bicycles, people, strollers, shopping carts, wheelchairs.
  5. Leash guiding around obstacles indoors or outdoors for a short distance.
  6. Intelligent Disobedience as in refusing a command to go forward into the road if there is oncoming traffic or intersecting traffic in the team's path. The dog is also trained to halt, abruptly, rather than collide with a vehicle that intersects the team's path when it enters the intersection during the team's crossing.


  1. Halt or Sit to indicate every curb.
  2. Halt to indicate descending stairs at the top of a flight of stairs.
  3. Halt to indicate steps up into a building or patio area.
  4. Halt to warn of edge of subway or train platform.
  5. Halt to warn of approach to edge of cliff, ditch, other outdoor drop-offs.
  6. Halt when confronted by a barrier such as at construction site.
  7. Intelligent disobedience - refuse a command to go forward if there is a drop-off.


  1. Find an exit from a room; indicate door knob.
  2. Find the elevator bank.
  3. Find specific entrances and/or exits.
  4. Find an empty seat, bench, or unoccupied area.
  5. Find a customary seat in a particular classroom.
  6. Follow a designated person such as a waiter to restaurant table, clerk to elevator, etc.
  7. Locate specified destination such as store in mall, hotel room or home from a distance, once all other decision points such as intersecting streets, hallways, etc. have been passed.


  1. Retrieve dropped objects.
  2. Find desired object like the morning newspaper on the porch.

Source: IAADP