Service Dog Team Etiquette

Vest on = Dog Working



 How to act around a Service dog:        

  • Service Dogs ARE NOT PETS. They are considered Medical Equipment. Do you talk to a wheel chair or cane?
  • DO NOT PET the Service Dog. Don’t touch the dog without asking permission first! This is a distraction and may prevent the dog from tending to the human partner.
  • DO NOT DISTRACT the Service Dog in any way. Distractions are harmful to the team.
    • Do not call the dog.
    • Do not whistle or make sounds to the dog to get their attention
    • Never feed the dog.
    • Never touch the dog specifically without the handler’s permission
  • IGNORE the Service Dog entirely. You’re not being rude if you don’t acknowledge the Service Dog’s presence. They don’t mind. They are used to this when they are working.
  • TALK TO THE PERSON, not the service dog.
  • DON’T ASSUME about the individual’s intelligence, feelings, or capabilities. Don’t ask about their health issues. They do not ask about yours. You do not need to know this information.
  • DO NOT BE AFRAID of the dog. A true service dog has been professionally trained to do their job and have excellent manners.
    • If the dog barks and wants you to follow him/her, then the handler needs help.
    • IF the dog BARKS at you in a menacing way or MISBEHAVES (is not well mannered), these are most likely NOT REAL service dogs.