If you see a guide dog or service dog wearing a special harness or jacket, it means the dog is working.
- Please do not pet/touch a guide dog or service dog wearing a harness or jacket. You may ask the owner if you can. Sometimes they may let you; other times they may ask you not to.
- It’s the same thing with guide dog and service dog puppies in training. They are in class and need to learn that when they are wearing their “harness or jacket” they are working. As soon as the harness or jacket is removed, the dog learns that they are “off duty” and fun times begin.
- Please do not talk to a guide dog or service dog that is working. The dogs need to concentrate to be able to do their best work, and having other people speak to them or call them is distracting them from their primary task of guiding or caring for the person with the disability.
- Never offer, or give food or treats to a guide or service dog. Working dogs are fed regularly a very special dog food in appropriate portions and anything else may make them ill.
- Do feel free to say hello to the owner and tell them you think their dog is beautiful. They think so too.
- If you enter the room where there is a blind person, please say hello so they know you are there. Conversely, say goodbye when you leave so they know you are gone. It’s quite Ok to use normal terms and phrases of greetings, such as “nice to see you,” when speaking to blind or visually impaired individuals.
- All guide dogs and service dogs give independence and freedom — priceless.
- If the person needs your help, they will ask for it. Otherwise, treat the dog’s owner just like you would treat everyone else you meet.
Here is helpful video on Assistance Dogs and Guide Dogs presented by 7-Eleven.