Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.
Six Service Dog Etiquette Tips
How to Behave Around a Service Dog
Service dogs are all around us and this is truly a wonderful thing. They can help people to open and close doors, retrieve dropped items from the floor, walk across the street, and retrieve medication from a refrigerator, as well as a variety of other tasks. Each dog is tailor trained to meet the specific needs of their handler. And yet many of us still do not know how to properly interact with these fascinatingly furry helpers. Here are six etiquette tips to remember the next time you encounter a service dog.
Speaking to the Service Dog Team
That's right, the service dog and its handler are a team. And should you want to approach a service dog team, please speak to the person first. Speaking, touching, or making rude noises to the dog may only confuse him or her.
Petting the Service Dog
It may be tempting to pet or touch the service dog, but only do so after receiving permission from the dog's handler. Moreover, don't be insulted if your request is denied. Releasing the dog in order to greet you may distract his or her attentiveness to the handler.
Feeding the Service Dog
Do not offer a service dog food or dog treats. Even though service dogs are trained to ignore food on the ground and not beg for treats, your offerings may serve as a distraction for the dog. Besides, you can't be sure that the dog food or treat you are offering will not inadvertently cause the dog to become sick.
Interactions with Your Dog
If you have a dog with you, do not let him or her approach the service dog without first consulting with the handler. This can distract the service dog and, despite his or her training, may lead to an unwanted altercation between the animals.
Asking Personal Questions
Asking the handler about his or her disability is impolite and an intrusion of privacy. You should also never assume an animal is not a service dog if he or she does not wear a vest, patch, or any other item that would identify the dog as a service dog. This is not required by U.S. federal law.
Providing Help to the Service Dog Team
If you think a service dog team needs help, ask before acting. Grabbing the service dog's leash or harness from the handler without permission may cause the dog — and the handler — to become confused or upset. Also, do not take it personally if the service dog handler rejects your offer of help. It's for a good reason.
Additional SlideshowsWhat's New Dog Cat
|7 Signs of Cushing's Disease in Dogs||10 Fruits and Vegetables for Lizards||Reptile Terrarium Checklist: 7 Must-Buy Supplies||8 Creative Money-Saving Tips on Pet Care||7 Terrarium Dangers for Reptiles|
|3 Things You Didn’t Know About Natural Pet Food||4 Pet Food Storage Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe||3 Dog Food Mistakes to AVOID||How Did My Dog Get Ticks?||Five Steps to Preventing Dog Separation Anxiety|
|Watch Out For These 6 Nutrients in Cat Food||Does Your Stressed Cat Really Have a Dangerous Urinary Issue?||How Did My Cat Get Ticks?||5 Holiday Table Scraps that Could Kill Your Cat||10 Emergency Checklist Items to Keep Your Cat Safe|