Guide dogs and their handlers have always undergone intense training on dealing with distractions from squirrels to skateboarder. But today's guide dogs have a whole new generation of things to worry about: quiet cars, button-activated walk signals, stroller traffic on handicapped curb-cuts, and a greater likelihood of interacting with other dogs.
Anything or anyone that keeps a guide dog from focusing on its work is considered a distraction - and becomes something the dog is trained to ignore. But everyone can help guide dogs and their handlers avoid some distractions. One basic rule: Don't pet a guide dog without permission.