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5 Things to Avoid When You See a Service Dog in Public

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5 Things to Avoid When You See a Service Dog in Public

1) Do Not Pet the Service Dog

Let’s be truthful: we can’t help the impulse to reach out and pet a dog as soon as we see it. Even if we don’t know the creature’s temperament, the urge to tussle their fur can make us act before we think. With service dogs, we must curb our impulses so as not to keep them from fully performing their duties.

2) Keep Distractions to a Minimum

While the dog is walking with its owner, a person may see it as a stroll, but the truth is the dog has been trained to detect subtle hints in its owner’s demeanor that may signal an episode. To distract them, even for a second, could possibly mean an unnoticed issue. Allow the dog to do its job and try not to pull its focus with toys and treats.

3) Speak Directly to the Owner, Not the Dog

As social creatures, we find it rude not to acknowledge others and speak to them. It doesn’t matter whether the other individual involved is a person or an animal. Against what you may think, try your best not to address the dog directly.

4) Keep Your Dog on a Short Leash

If you have a dog when you approach one, be sure to keep them on a short leash. Dogs are also social creatures and will want to play with the first companion they see. Or perhaps your dog has an aversion to others and may want to bark or nip at them. Do your best to keep your dog very close and give the service animal a wide berth.

5) Be Respectful

Always remember that, when you see a service dog, they are there for a reason. They tend to be very pricey to acquire and often require tons of paperwork for approval. So, when you see one, do your best to remember that they are there for an important reason and should be given respect.

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