Service Dog Etiquette

When a Service Dog has a vest on or is in public with its disabled handler (or trainer), it is working, even if it appears as though it is not.

Distracting a Service Dog by making kissy noises, offering food, water, squeaking toys or attempting to pet the dog may be dangerous to the dog’s disabled handler, especially if the dog is a medical alert dog, hearing or guide dog for the blind.

Many handlers have “invisible disabilities,” such as diabetes, hearing loss, balance and seizure disorders, PTSD, Autism, MS/MD or other symptoms not readily apparent to others, and if a Service Dog is paying attention to someone who’s distracting it, they’re not doing her job for their handler.

Most disabled Service Dog handlers don’t like to chat about their Service Dogs. Most like to go about their day, just like you! It is against the law to ask personal questions about the handler’s disability or intrude on their privacy. Laws vary from State to State but "Interfering with a Service Dog" can lead to charges ranging a Misdemeanor to a Felony Charge.

Keep these simple Service Dog etiquette tips in mind, and you’ll have a far smoother experience when you see a Service Dog in public.