Who Picks Up Guide Dog Poo?

How does a blind person pick up after a dogs poo?  Who picks up guide dog poo?  I’ve seen this question many, many times in my twitter feed and in comment threads.

Guide Dog Poo

Guide Dog PooThis is a totally legitimate question:  How does a blind person pick up guide dog poop?  I asked this question a while back.  While raising Stetson I remember Ramona, our instructor, reminding us to pet our dogs while they were “getting busy” – “Get Busy” is the command we give to let our dog know it’s time for them to go pee or poo. I always thought this was a strange thing (petting the dogs while they do their business) to do, but figured that it was another way for a blind handler to know exactly where their dog was squatting.

Finally one day I asked “Why do we pet our dogs while they’re getting busy?” As usual there was a very logical response:

As a guide dog puppy raiser we tell our dogs to “get busy” letting them know it’s time to eliminate. At this time we get the dogs used to having their back rubbed by petting as they pee or poop. When the dog is older and working as a guide dog, the dogs blind handler can say “get busy” and rub the dogs back (the back arches differently whether the dog pees or poops) and then within an inch there’s the dog poop.

I actually learned two things that day. The first being “Why do we pet our dogs while they pee or poo?” and “Who picks up guide dog poo?


  1. Laurel says

    When we raise guide dog puppies, we touch them on their backs to get them used to being touched. The purpose of this is so that the visually impaired person can tell by the arch of the dogs back whether it is deficating or urinating. They then use a bag just like everyone else to pick up the poop. The poop is warm, it is fairly easy to find! The visually impaired can leave the bag on any street curb without breaking any rules. That is, at least, my understanding of this mystery.

  2. john mcquade,leigh & susan catignani says

    we found it interesting how a blind person cleans up after the dog. we thought that maybe someone else cleaned up or they just left it.

  3. Jude says

    When my 6 year old asked me ‘who picks up a guide dog’s poo?’ I thought: any dog owner who has walked their dog at night (ie all of them) will already have honed their skills and senses in order to tackle the problem of finding doo-doo in the dark-we use our ears and noses (a torch if you’re prepared). And a blind person already knows where their dog is, so I thought it was a no-brainer. Maybe wearing gloves would be a bit more advisable, but yeah, I was intrigued enough to google it for him…

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