If you have ever seen a service dog assisting someone, what were your thoughts?
Many people want to talk to or pet the dog. Though the dog would like this, it’s not a good thing to do. For some working dogs, it wouldn’t be a problem. For others, it distracts the dog from doing their work. It also makes it very difficult for the handler. In some cases, it could be dangerous for the handler. It also takes away 2 days of valuable training for the dog. If you really want to talk to or pet the dog, ask the handler first. They are the ones who know best whether or not their working team would be affected by it.
If you see it is a service dog, don’t distract in any way (speaking, petting, making noises, etc.). If you are unsure whether the dog is a service dog (even though you might be a “dog person” or have a lot of experience with dogs in general), keep to the basic rule: When in doubt, don’t.
By Law, there are only two questions you are permitted to ask the individual:
- Is the dog a service dog?
- What service does he/she perform?