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Updated 5/2014

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Service Dog Safety

Before you look at the site - please read the Picture Notes page.


(This pup went on to assist a visually impaired man)

Special note about working dogs

Often I see people reach out and touch "service dogs" (dogs trained to assist the disabled humans). I have seen kids toss food to these dogs, run up to them, adults call the dogs, etc. PLEASE when you see a service dog (and the identifying materials such as harnesses, leads, jackets will vary group to group), LEAVE THE DOG ALONE! Though highly trained, these are still just dogs and are driven ultimately by instinct.

By not behaving properly around working dogs, by encouraging bad manners, we can put the human at risk. A guide dog that no longer ignores food or passersby may lead the blind person into danger as the dog tries to get food or go for a visit. A hearing ear dog that focuses on trying to get people to play or beg for food may not cue in on a potential danger to alert the human to.  There is a time for play and a time for work.

When out in public we must respect that the dog is working and LEAVE IT ALONE. The dog will get plenty of opportunity to relax in an appropriate setting when the workday is over and his uniform comes off.  Please teach your children to leave service dogs alone and please respect this yourself. 

It is amazing how quickly ignorance within humans can lead to danger for the person that truly needs the dog for safety.

© copyright 2002-2014 Karen Peak, The Safe Kids/Safe Dogs Project.

No part of this website may be used without written permission of Karen Peak, all pictures and writings are property of Karen Peak, West Wind Dog Training unless otherwise noted.

The Safe Kids/Safe Dogs Project is property of West Wind Dog Training.

All pictures on this site were sent to the Safe Kids/Safe Dogs Project with the understanding that the pictures were taken or owned by the individual sending them.