Information about Service Dogs

Some guidelines for being around service dogs

Some members will be attending with service dogs, such as guide dogs. Please note that service dogs have a very important role in their owner’s lives and we would ask that members respect this.
Here are some guidelines for how to behave around a service dog:

1: No petting. Service dogs need to remain focused and should not be touched except by their owner. You may see an owner allow a friend to pet their service dog, however this should not be considered an invitation to others, and it’s good manners to not ask if you’re not already well-acquainted with the owner, especially in a large public or social setting.

2: Do not use their name. You’ll hear their owner use their name when giving instructions. If they hear another person use their name, they may become distracted. Sometimes an owner will have a nickname for use by others. If an owner asks you to use a nickname when referring to their dog, please oblige.

3: Don’t talk to the owner at street crossings. It’s important that the service dog and owner be able to communicate without distraction at such potentially dangerous points.

4: Do not give the dog food. Feeding is an important part of the bonding between owner and service dog.

5: Do not make eye contact with the service dog or talk to them while they’re working. Again, service dogs need to focus on the care of their owner and should not be distracted.

Thank you to everyone for respecting the needs of service dogs and their owners.