Service Dog Safety

Reprinted from PN August 2012

Keeping service dogs safe while they work is important for handler and dog.

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Service dogs are not the same as a pet. They’re trained to perform necessary tasks to make life a bit easier for their handlers. Keeping them safe while they work is important for handler and dog.

A fully trained service dog can provide a variety of tasks depending on what the dog is trained to do. This can range from retrieving items to more difficult skills such as cognitive assistance — alerting the handler to medical needs and sounds. Many service dogs perform assistance by opening and closing doors, pulling manual wheelchairs and more.

To help keep the service dog on task and better help the handler, the general rule for the public is, “Do not look, touch, or speak to my dog.” The value of a service dog is invaluable, and keeping them safe is important.

Note: For additional information, refer to the Americans with Disabilities Act 2010 Revised Requirements for Service Animals at


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