The following list of recommendations is for when meeting or interacting with service dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs, mobility-stability dogs, seizure-alert-response dogs, psychiatric service dogs, and autism dogs teams in public. This same etiquette applies to Service Puppies in training.
Let’s begin with the Don’ts
DON’T…distract the service dog from their working position by calling, clapping, offering food, throwing balls or action that may distract the dog.
DON’T…attempt to pet or touch any service dog.
DON’T…be offended if your request to pet the service dog is declined.
DON’T…automatically tell any disable person with a service dog, that dogs are not are permitted.
DON’T…assume that the dog is not an service dog, for the reason that the individual doesn’t look disabled.
Now all the things you can do.
DO…allow the service dog to serve as a working partner without distraction.
DO…speak to the individual…not to the service dog when welcoming an service dog team.
DO…understand that permitting the service dog to greet you may sidetrack the service dog’s consideration to their cohort.
DO…ask if the dog with them is an Service Dog. If the person say yes…no further access questions are necessary.
DO… monitor the behavior and dealings involving the individual and the dog. If the dog is being attentive to his or her cohort and working close to them, you are looking at the main characteristics of an Service Dog.
Service Animal Standards of Behavior
Animal is clean and does not have a foul odor.
Animal does not urinate or defecate in unsuitable locations.
Animal shall not make unwanted contact with members of the public.
Animal’s behavior does not disturb the normal course of business.
Animal works without needless vocalization.
Animal shows no violent behavior toward people or other animals.
Animal does not ask for or steal food or other items from the public.
Animal is specifically trained to do more than one task to ease the effects of their cohort’s disability; said disability being any condition as described by and covered under the ADA that significantly impairs one or more major life function.
Animal obeys the instructions of its handler.
Animal works calmly and quietly on a harness, leash or other tether.
Animal has been specially trained to do its duties in public and accustom to being out in public.
Animal will be able to lie quietly beside their partner without blocking aisles, doorways, etc.
Animals are trained to urinate or defecate on command
Animal stays within 24″ of their partner at all times unless the nature of a trained task requires a greater working distance.
Federal Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 (ACAA) – The act requires air carriers to permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities on flights (14 CFR 382.55 (a))
Fair Housing Act of 1988 (FHA)