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The Rule for Service Dogs: Don’t Touch or Distract Them

You might want to go gaga over them, but you shouldn't. It could put someone in harm's way and interfere with the dog's focus on his or her most important task. If you can't help yourself (and many of us can't), please at least follow these 8 important dos and don'ts.

behavior around service dog team


  • Many people don’t realize there are rules of etiquette when in the presence of a service dog team (the dog and the owner/handler)
  • Service dogs should never be approached, talked to or touched unless permission is asked for and granted by the dog’s handler. No offense should be taken if the handler asks you not to interact with the dog
  • Distracting a working dog can result in potential harm to the handler, and can interfere with the dog’s focus and ability to follow potentially life-saving commands or cues

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