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Welcome man's best friend... their friends are your customers

We are all familiar with Guide Dogs for people with sight impairment and, to a lesser extent perhaps, Hearing Dogs for deaf people. But what about assistance dogs? Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs are also assistance dogs, but there are other categories of our canine friends who help out.

They come colour coded - Guide Dogs sport a white harness with yellow fluorescent strips, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People have burgundy jackets, AID (Assistance in Disability) dogs and Medical Detection Dogs (for adults and children with complex health conditions) wear red jackets, Canine Partners (also for adults with a physical disability) wear purple, Dogs for Good (for people with physical disabilities or children with autism) can be identified by their green jackets and Support Dogs (for adults with a physical disability, children with autism and for seizure alerts for people with epilepsy) wear blue.

Assistance Dogs UK is campaigning for more businesses to display Assistance Dogs (UK) stickers in their windows to welcome customers with assistance dogs. If you want a sticker please contact June Spouncer on 01205 362126 or email her at

Private hire drivers and operators and Hackney Carriage drivers are reminded that it is against the law to refuse to carry, or charge more to a passenger with an accredited assistance dog. If they do they risk being prosecuted and losing their licence.

A Guide Dog must not be approached when seen out and about as it is working, but all the other assistance dogs can be stroked, with the permission of the owner.

To find out more visit

Hearing Dogs are organising a dog walk in the grounds of Belvoir Castle on Father's Day, Sunday, June 18, at 11am. Walks are three and eight kilometress long. More details at