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Service Dog Etiquette 12 August 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in ADA, ADI, Delta Society, Dept of Justice, Federal Law, Guidelines, IAADP, PAALS, Service Dogs.
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I recently read some  information about service dog etiquette that makes a lot of sense.

Since not everyone knows about service dogs, not everyone knows about service dog etiquette.

First – a service dog is not a pet! A service dog has at least 2 years of intensive socialization and training behind him and is an expert in what he does. Most have been bred from working dog stock and not only thoroughly enjoy, but need to work.

A person who has a service dog has a very well-trained working dog. When you meet them, remember that the dog is working. Don’t interrupt it.

Always speak to the dog’s partner first, and always ask before beginning to interact with the dog.

Don’t pet the dog or make noises at the dog without permission of the dog’s partner.

If the partner says, “No,” then the answer is, “No,” and simply agree with it and go with it. It has nothing to do with you, it has to do with the service dog and his duties.

Never offer food to a service dog! This will distract him from his job. It can even cause injury to the disabled partner.

If you encounter a service dog in training or a puppy in training, ignore it! At this stage of training, they are easily distractible and can have a whole day’s training lost if interfered with.

It is impolite to ask the partner about his disability. If you are intrusive enough to ask such an invasive question, do not be surprised if the partner refuses to discuss it. The partner is not being offensive – he just doesn’t want his privacy invaded any more than you would.

Business Owners

If you are a business person, you may not prevent a person from bringing his service dog in with him. Both Federal and State laws specify that service dogs are to be permitted into any business or location. Even clinics or hospitals.

If you don’t like dogs, or are afraid of them, simply put yourself on the other side of the person from the dog.

If the dog “forgets” his manners and barks or growls at something or someone, you may inquire as to what the problem is. If someone has been teasing, poking or otherwise alarming the dog, they should be reprimanded. On the other hand, some service dogs alert their partners to impending seizures or crashing blood sugars  by barking once or twice, and that may be the source of a bark or two.

You may ask the person to remove their service dog from the premises if the dog’s behavior is disruptive or destructive.

If another customer has a severe allergy to dogs, you might ask the person with the service dog  if you can help them outside or if they can wait outside until the person with the allergy is through. This problem has not been defined by law, however. Balancing the health needs of the allergic against the rights of the disabled with service animals will probably be worked out in courts of law in the future.

If other customers complain about the presence of the service dog, explain that the service dog is medically necessary, and that Federal law AND State law protect the rights of the person to have their service dog with them in public places.

Many disabled people with service dogs carry pamphlets or cards that explain Federal ADA laws about service dogs. Some carry information about the training their dog has gone through and any certifications it has. You might politely ask the disabled person if they have such information with them if another customer is confused and you feel you don’t have enough information yourself to help the situation.

Places To Go For More Information

Delta Society

Assistance Dogs International

International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP)

PAALS

= = = = =

[NOTE: Waiting for the Woof ended 10/2/08. Living with the Woof picks up with the addition of Emmy to our lives! Please join me at: Living With the Woof for the ongoing saga of the Woof! Our adventures and our foibles will be chronicled there.]

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Comments»

1. George - 14 August 08

Nice summary

2. Matthew Stoloff's Blog · Service Animals in the Schools - 25 August 09

[…] aren’t distracting at all. Furthermore, it’s a good opportunity for students to learn service dog etiquette, i.e., these are service animals, not companion pets, and one should not “pet,” feed, […]

3. SARAH DAWNE - 18 June 10

IN CANADA
BY LAW

A PERSON WITH AN ALLERGY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ALLERGY AND CANNOT OBSTRUCT THE ACCESS OF A SERVICE DOG.

I AM A WORKING PROFESSIONAL
WITH A MOBILITY SERVICE DOG AND HAVE A SPEECH DISABILITIES.

IT IS VERY CHALLENGING HOW VERY PUSHY THE PUBLIC ARE, SO I HAVE HANDED OUT OVER 23,000 PHAMPLETS THAT I WROTE WITH HUMOR
TO EXPLAIN SERVICE DOG ETIQUETTE. OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS.
RECIENTLY THE PUBLIC HAS BECOME MUCH MORE DEMANDING….

SDOG ETIQUETTE
FOR PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES

I recently read some information about service dog etiquette that makes a lot of sense.

Since not everyone knows about service dogs, not everyone knows about service dog etiquette.

IN CANADA
BY LAW

A PERSON WITH AN ALLERGY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ALLERGY AND CANNOT OBSTRUCT THE ACCESS OF A SERVICE DOG.

(HOWEVER, I DAWNE LIKE TO BE ACCOMODATING, BUT IT IS GETTING VERY HARD FOR ME TO PHYSICALLY MOVE FOR THEM, ESPECIALLY DUE TO THE CAR ACCIDENT.

MY SERVICE DOG IS STILL TRAINING AND WE ARE A NEW TEAM, WHICH CAN TAKE UP TO A YEAR TO BE WORKING OPTOMIALY.

First – a service dog is not a pet! A service dog has at least 2 years of intensive socialization and training behind him and is an expert in what he does. Most have been bred from working dog stock and not only thoroughly enjoy, but need to work.

A person who has a service dog has a very well-trained working dog. When you meet them, remember that the dog is working. Don’t interrupt it.

Always speak to the OWNER, AND PLEASE DO NOT ASK TO INTERACT WITH THE DOG.

Don’t pet the dog or make noises at the dog

If the partner says, “No,” then the answer is, “No,” and simply agree with it and go with it. It has nothing to do with you, it has to do with the service dog and his duties.

Never offer food to a service dog! This will distract him from his job. It can even cause injury to the disabled partner.

If you encounter a service dog in training or a puppy in training, ignore it! At this stage of training, they are easily distractible and can have a whole day’s training lost if interfered with.

It is VERY impolite to ask the OWNER about his disability. If you are intrusive enough to ask such an invasive question, do not be surprised if the partner refuses to discuss it. The partner is not being offensive – he just doesn’t want his privacy invaded any more than you would.

Business Owners

If you are a business person, you may not prevent a person from bringing his service dog in with her/him. Both Federal and PROV laws specify that service dogs are to be permitted into any business or location. Even clinics or hospitals.

If you don’t like dogs, or are afraid of them, simply put yourself on the other side of the person from the dog.

If the dog “forgets” his manners and barks or growls at something or someone, note the dog is doing his job. If someone has been teasing, poking or otherwise alarming the dog, they should be reprimanded. On the other hand, some service dogs alert their partners to impending seizures or crashing blood sugars by barking once or twice, and that may be the source of a bark or two.

You may ask the person to calm their service dog if the dog’s behavior is disruptive or destructive.

If another customer has a severe allergy to dogs,

IN CANADA
BY LAW

A PERSON WITH AN ALLERGY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ALLERGY AND CANNOT OBSTRUCT THE ACCESS OF A SERVICE DOG

you might VERY PILOTELY ask the person with the service dog TO OFFER help. Balancing the health needs of the allergic against the rights of the disabled with service animals. MANY PEOPLE SAY THEY HAVE ALLERGIES, WHEN ACTUALLY THEY ARE AFRAID.

If other customers complain about the presence of the service dog, explain that the service dog is medically necessary, and that Federal law AND PROV law protect the rights of the person to have their service dog with them in public places. DO NOT DISCUSS ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE OWNER, OR WHAT THE DOG’S DUTIES ARE.

Many disabled people with service dogs carry pamphlets or cards that explain Federal ADA laws about service dogs. Some carry information about the training their dog has gone through and any certifications it has.

You might politely ask the disabled person TO SEE THE SERVICE DOG LICIENCE.

THE OWNER OF THE SERVICE DOG IS NOT REQUIRED TO EDUCATE THE CURIOUS PUBLIC OR CUSTOMERS – SIMPLY TELL THEM IS IS A WORKING SERVICE DOG ON DUTY, PLEASE IGNOE THE DOG. CONTINUED PRESSURE AND ATTENTION ABOUT THE SERVICE DOG IS HARRASSMENT.

IT IS VERY EXHAUSTING TO ENTERTAIN THE CURIOUS PUBLIC WHILE OUT DOING ONE’S DAILY ACTIVITIES OR HAVING LUNCH WITH A FRIEND.

turtlemom3 - 18 June 10

Thank you for the information about Canadian Law. In the USA the ADA regulations are very similar.
Your summary of how people should treat those with a service dog and how to treat the service dog is very similar to some of the things I have posted, both here and on http://livingwiththewoof.wordpress.com
I, myself, do not mind people asking about my disability, but I know that others are more reticent. There are times when I am trying to just “get it done” in terms of a task, and really don’t have time to educate the public! I try not to be rude if that is the case, but I usually am somewhat abrupt.

4. leslie - 7 October 10

I just witnessed a Partner being tossed out of a McDonalds because of his dog,he had all his papers and all and the manager didn’t want to hear anything, the partner was explaining the law to him in a calm manner but the guy was not agreeable. The partner, his dog and friend left a bit later, I didn’t intervene because I couldn’t quite catch what they were saying, but I was wondering if there is a place where we can repot this kind of behavior??? For the record it happened around 10h45 am october 7 2010. The McDonalds is the one on Ste-Catherine and Mackay in Montreal near the Concordia EV building.

turtlemom3 - 8 October 10

I really can’t answer that. I’m in the USA and there are major differences. the Americans with Disabilities Act in the USA, defines and legalizes service dogs. There are laws in all 50 states that reflect the ADA. In Canada, as I understand it, there is no similar act or law. There is probably something else in place, however, because guide dogs are permitted. A very “quick-and-dirty” web search turned up this: http://www.ehow.com/about_6566873_canadians-disabilities-act.html
The report or protest, if filed, should come from the disabled individual, however. Hope that helps.

Drew - 4 April 11

I am partnered with a psychiatric service dog, and I experienced a similar challenge at a gas station. The first time the owner said something and I experienced a panic attack and had to leave. The second time he threatened to call the police, I told him to go ahead and call them. They were absolutely no help because they were completely ignorant of service dog laws. After I left and calmed down I called the chains home office and two days later was called by the regional manager to personally apologize for the situation, since then, other than a dirty look from the owner whenever he is there, I have had no problems.

5. yet another steve - 1 June 14

Thank you Canada for turning my allergy into a disability.

For people with real disabilities, I’m fine with yielding my spot, going home etc.

Unfortunately where I live “service dog” are two magic words which once spoken give anyone carte blanche to bring their pet anywhere.

Sure the lifechanging value to people with real disabilities outweighs any limits on my abilities. But abuse is becoming a real problem, and threatens to seriously limit my activities.

You’d probably be surprised just how limiting a dog allergy already is in social, family and relationship contexts.

turtlemom3 - 3 June 14

I’m sorry you are experiencing the results of service dog misuse. Those of us who truly need a service dog try to be sensitive to those who dislike dogs, are afraid of dogs and/or are allergic to dogs. I sometimes used Emmy to help desensitize people who fear dogs. My next dog will probably be hairier than Emmy, and I will need to do much more brushing and use a liquid that helps the dog not shed dander and fur.

I hope you can find some relief from your problem. Have you tried getting allergy shots? They work for many people, and at least help with many others.

I wish you well!


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