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Discussion Starter #1
FYI:

If you come upon a Service Dog and their handler in a public place, this is how you should approach them.

If you would like to greet the dog...ASK THE HANDLER FOR PERMISSION!!!  9 times out of 10, if you ask the handler for permission to greet their dog they will let you (not a guarantee, but if you were to ask me I would be very likely to allow it).  If the handler says it's okay, be calm and get down to the dogs level.  Let the dog sniff you.  After the dog sniffs you, you may carefully and calmly pet the dog.  Speak in calm, quiet, and happy tones.  Now is also a good time to talk to the dogs handler.  Ask questions about the dogs training and how they help their handler.  You can also ask about the Federal Laws that protect Service Dogs.

Remember, some Service Dog handlers have "Invisible Disablilties", such as Hearing Impairment or Sight Impairment.  Please be observant and conscientious about how you respond to their speaking of their "Invisibility Disability".  Such phrases as ," You don't look deaf!", or "You don't look blind", are rather irritating (speaking from experience) and put the handler off about speaking to people in public about their S.D. or disability.

Hope this was informative and helpfull.

Liz and Lilly
 

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Nice post Lillyzmomma.   People don't realize this and it's too bad you can't get the general public to read this post too.  Lilly is too cute!  I have had three whites over the years and they are just the cutest.

Thanks.

Nano
 

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I've seen a few service vests that say something like, no petting, I'm on duty or something along those lines. So I've always respected that about all service dogs I've seen. They're working. I leave them alone.
 

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Great post and yes, something everyone needs to know...Obviously an intelligent person knows how to approach a dog, service or otherwise, but I cannot begin to count how many people have approached my dogs and before even asking, start petting them. Kids in some ways are the worse, cos their parents haven't taught them...I once shared my seat on the plane with a woman and her lovely Golden, she was blind and her Golden jumped into my lap before she even sat down!! While she was apoligizing as he wasn't supposed to be doing that, I was getting my face licked, and loved every minute of it!!!

I think I'm going to cross-post this on another forum I am on, it's good advice and needs to be shared with all.......
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, thank you for all these wonderful responses!!!!

It really is okay to pet a service dog, so long as you ask first.

Service dog are very friendly with people and other animals.  That is part of the criteria to even be chosen FOR the training.  When you pet a service dog you are just helping to socialize them even more, which makes them even better at their jobs!!!!!

Thanks again everyone!!!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just something I thought to add today while printing up more Service Dog Etiquette Cards...:

It is against Federal Law (American's with Disabilities Act of 1990) to distract, harras, or in any way interrupt a Service Dog while it is performing it's duties.  If the S.D.'s handler feels that the dog is being harrassed then they MAY make a police report and file CRIMINAL CHARGES against you!!!

Just an FYI!!!

Liz and Lilly
 
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