Anymore, whenever I see a service dog, I never know what kind it is. So I thought it would be helpful to know! According to UrDogs, here is what I found out...
Guide dogs are the eyes of their partners. Their responsibility is to help their blind handler navigate the world around them. If you distract a guide dog and he takes as short as even a second to look at you, he could easily fail to notice the car that’s making an illegal U-turn before it hits his owner, leaving him broken and bleeding.
Mobility Assistance Dogs:
Mobility assistance dogs, and especially balance dogs, provide their partners with balance and stability while walking. If you stand near the dog and kept telling him he is a good boy and he starts moving towards you, his human partner could easily be yanked to the pavement, once again, he can end up broken and bleeding. Other mobility dogs work with people who use wheelchairs. They help by performing tasks such as pulling the wheel chair and picking up dropped items. If you deliberately wave a mobility assistance dog with a treat that he can’t resist and he is distracted by you, he could easily run towards you, flipping the chair or yanking the handler from the chair, leaving the human handler broken and bleeding.
Psychiatric Service Dogs:
Psychiatric Service dogs are specially trained to perform specific tasks related to their human’s disability. They are commonly used to help veterans with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)- a terrible condition which can affect anyone who has gone through a terrifying event, including soldiers, police officers, and more.
These individuals rely on their dogs to wake them from night terrors, interrupt stressful situations that could cause a panic attack, fetch medicine, and more. If a Psychiatric service dog is distracted from his duty, he may not be able to watch his human partner as carefully as needed, possibly leaving them mentally broken and bleeding, and in some situations, they could be physically broken and bleeding.
Regardless of the dog’s specific task or the disability of his handler, there is one thing that you should be sure of: A service dog must stay focused on his partner in order to do his job, thus keeping his person safe and preventing injury. Distracting a working service dog in any way, you are putting the health and safety of the human he is assisting at risk, and any thing bad that happens to him as a result of the dog’s distraction is therefore your fault.
Of course, a service dog is trained to ignore these types of distractions, but he is still a dog. No dog is infallible and no amount of training will be enough to make a dog completely impervious to any and all possible distractions. Everyone has a responsibility to not intentionally try and grab a service dog’s attention away from his job or handler.
So, what should you do when you encounter a service dog?
You should do nothing, just ignore the dog completely, pretend that the dog simply isn’t there, no matter how cute or adorable he is, you shouldn’t try to interact with him. You should interact with the human partner as you would any other person.
This means that you shouldn’t do ANY of the following:
- Pet the dog
- Talk to the dog
- Say the dog’s name
- Make eye contact with the dog
- Make any action to get the dog’s attention
The dog is there to keep his/her human partner safe. But when the dog is distracted, he is not paying attention to his task anymore and his disabled human could easily be harmed, which in some situations can end up with the human handler broken or bleeding,
For the entire UrDogs article, click here: http://www.urdogs.com/why-you-should-never-do-these-things-to-any-service-dog/