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5 Tips for meeting a service dog

Fathom, service dog from The Seeing Eye

These tips from The Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ, one of the foremost training sites for service dogs for the blind and visually impaired, may be useful when interacting with any service animal,

Always remember, distracting a service dog can make its owner vulnerable to harm.

  1. Please don't let your pet near a guide dog, even if your pet is leashed. Even allowing your pet to visit or "say hi", for just a moment can cause the guide dog to lose focus on the important job he has to do.
  2. It's helpful to let a person who is blind know that you are nearby and tell them if you have a dog with you.
  3. Do not call the dog's name, make eye contact, feed or talk to the dog. It's always best to treat the dog as if he is not there.
  4. Do not pet a guide dog when he is wearing the harness. If the dog is resting without his harness, ask the owner before you pet the dog and respect the person's decision if they say no.
  5. Do not shout directions, take the person by the arm or interrupt them when they are crossing the street. If you are concerned for their safety, ask them if they need help first.