I’ve been a guide dog puppy raiser for almost 6 years now and before I started raising guide dog pups I didn’t know the difference between a guide dog and a seeing eye dog.
In fact, it wasn’t until I was puppy raising for about a year that I first heard why a Seeing Eye dog was a guide dog, but a guide dog was not necessarily a Seeing Eye dog.
Confusing? Give me a second and I’ll explain a little further.
The Difference Between Guide Dogs And Seeing Eye Dogs
So I scooted on over to the Seeing Eye Website and took a gander at their FAQ page. If you scroll all the way to the bottom you’ll see question 12:
12. Are all dogs that lead blind people Seeing Eye® dogs?
Only dogs trained by The Seeing Eye, Inc., of Morristown, N.J., are properly called Seeing Eye® dogs. The Seeing Eye is a registered trademark. The generic term for dogs trained by other schools is “guide dog.”
The Seeing Eye Website says that they are “the oldest existing guide dog school in the world”. That’s probably why the name of the school: The Seeing Eye is pretty much synonymous with the word “guide dog”.
Do you understand now? Did the lightbulb just go off in your head? If not, here are a couple of similar examples:
Xerox vs. Copy
Another example that used to come up frequently in the office (I don’t think it’s as common nowadays) is asking someone for a “Xerox” of one of their documents.
Maybe I’m dating myself, but the word “Xerox” used to be synonymous with the word “copy”. However, once again, “Xerox” was the brand while “copy” was the generic term.
Kleenex vs. Tissue
When I have to blow my nose I often ask for a “Kleenex”. However, what I’m really asking for is a “tissue”. “Kleenex” is the brand, but the generic term is “tissue”.
Guide Dogs vs. Seeing Eye Dogs
So lets see how you did in todays lesson.
I raised Dublin for the school Guide Dogs of America. Dublin graduated and is now a working dog leading his blind partner.
Dublin is a _______
A. Seeing Eye Dog
B. Guide Dog
I bet when you decided to read today’s post you didn’t expect to get SAT style questions 🙂
The correct answer is “B”. Dublin is a Guide Dog!
Now do you understand the difference between guide dogs and seeing eye dogs?
Do you know of any other similar examples like Kleenex vs. Tissue, Xerox vs. Copy, or Guide Dogs vs. Seeing Eye Dogs? If so, tell us about it in the comment section below.
By the way, I thought about this article when I was reading a post today about Frankie’s failing eyesight from I’m My Dog’s Seeing-Eye Person.
When I looked up the Seeing Eye website I stumbled across this old blog post (over 4 years ago) which I think may have been the first time I realized there was a difference between Guide Dogs and Seeing Eye Dogs.