May I Pet Your Dog?

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How should the public interact with service dogs? Service dog owners appreciate your admiration for the work and training that has gone into their dogs, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. These dogs are working partners. Not pets. Just like you wouldn’t walk up and start steering a person’s wheel chair, you should not walk up and pet their service dog. Explain to children that the dog is working and can’t be distracted. Be considerate with your pets around a service dog by keeping them under control. Service dogs are not looking for play time when working. Give them some space. Be aware in crowded areas such as restaurants that a service dog may be under a table next to you, and give them space to be comfortable. If you’re uncomfortable around a dog or have allergies, ask the staff of an establishment to move you to another location. Confronting a service dog owner directly is usually uncomfortable for both of you. Should a service dog be acting inappropriately, feel free to address it with management. They have the right and obligation to remove the dog from the premises.

Bill Copperman and his mobility dog Brady
Pet Companion Mag
Southern California's Local Pet Magazine

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