Tips to Follow when Around a Service Dog

No doubt, you have seen or been in close proximity to a service dog before. You may see them around helping their handler to close or open a door or helping them to walk across the street. In a more private capacity, the dog may help the owner to get items, such as medication, out of the refrigerator. They can help pick things up off of the floor and perform a variety of other tasks, such as doing the laundry, and more. These dogs are quite special, as they are specifically trained to meet the specific needs of their owner. However, when it comes to interacting with a service dog, the general public is clueless as to how. Here are some tips to follow when around or interacting with a service dog. If you have a disability, or need help completing certain tasks, then go through the service dog registry process, for the beginning steps on using a service dog.

Human First

When you see a service dog and their handler out, it is important that you see them as a team. They work together. Therefore, if you are going to approach the team in any way, it is important that you speak to the team leader first. Speak to the human first and then it’s also polite to ask for permission, should you like to speak to the dog. You must keep in mind that when you see a service dog out, usually they are on the job, busy, and trying to stay alert for the safety and care of themselves and their owners. So, petting or speaking to the dog can often confuse them and serve as a distraction.

Petting the Dog

As stated, when you see a service dog out with its owner, it is often on the job, where his full focus and attention are needed. However, service dogs can still be so cute. Therefore, you may experience a desire to want to pet the dog, to just show it some love, affection, and approval. However, before touching the dog, it is important to ask the handler if it’s okay. In some cases, the owner may say that you cannot touch the dog. Don’t take it personally. All you may see is a cute dog, but there is often much more going on in that moment, than you may be aware of. If you are declined, just politely allow the dog to stay focused on their task at hand.

If you have a disability, or need help completing certain tasks, then go through the service dog registry process, for the beginning steps on using a service dog.

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