Many people don’t know rules regarding service dogs. This pic pretty much tells it all! A Service Dog’s job is to focus on completing tasks for its owner or handler. Your behavior should not interfere with this focus. The handler is trying to complete his/her own activity.
Do not interact with the dog in any way. Examples of poor etiquette that should not happen when one sees a service animal are:
- Talking, whistling, cooing, or barking at the animal
- Petting or asking to pet
- Praising the pet when it completes its task
- Tapping your leg or clapping your hands
- Allowing your children to approach
- Speaking to the handler such as
- “What is wrong with you?”
- “What a good dog you have!”
- “What happened?”
- “What is his name?”
- “I have a friend that fosters service dogs”
- “I know you are not supposed to pet, but I just can’t resist!”
- Asking for a demonstration
Please be aware of your actions and the effects these actions may have on others. The best way to help the handler and the service animal is to respect their space and right to privacy.