Do's and Dont's

service dog etiquette

SERVICE DOG MANNERS:

When you meet a person with a Service Dog, please remember that the dog is WORKING!

Don't do anything to interrupt the service dog while it is performing its tasks.


DO'S AND DON'TS:

  • DO speak to the person first.
  • DO NOT feed the service dog!
  • DO NOT aim distracting or rude noises at the dog, eg whistling, clapping
  • DO NOT touch the service dog without asking and receiving permission
  • DO NOT ask personal questions about the handler's disability, or otherwise intrude on his or her privacy.
  • DO NOT be offended if the handler does not wish to talk to you or engage in any conversation with you about their service dog - please respect their privacy.  It is a huge thing for many of them to have taken the step of this independence provided by their dog to go out into public areas.
  • DO give way to the service dog team; they are less  manoeuvrable than you are.
  • DO let the handler know if the dog is in the way and obstructing you - please do so politely and sensitively.


WHAT IF YOU DON'T LIKE DOGS OR ARE AFRAID OF DOGS?

Place yourself away from the service dog.  If you are a business person, discreetly arrange for someone else to wait on the handler who does not have a fear/allergy or dislike of dogs.

  

A business cannot deny access to a Service Dog just because they are a dog, or they happen to have a no-pets business policy.

  

A business cannot ask a dog to leave/deny access because: 

· They only allow Guide Dogs – this is quite common and requires a lot more education to the public about the different role’s dogs can do.

· Someone is allergic to or afraid of dogs 

· The dog has a shedding coat type 

· They have food/displays in their establishment 


If you are a business and would like information on what to expect of a Service Dog Handler team - theirs and your establishments rights and responsibilities - Whiskey's Wish are more than happy to provide training and information seminars.


WHAT IF THE SERVICE DOG BARKS, GROWLS, OR OTHERWISE FORGETS ITS MANNERS?

Find out what happened first before taking action.  Was the Service dog stepped on, poked, asleep and/or dreaming, performing its job (some alert their recipients to oncoming seizures, panic attacks, by barking once or twice)?


If the dog's behaviour is disruptive or destructive, you may ask the person to remove it from the premises.

  

When can a business ask a handler team to leave?

As a business you can ask a dog to leave or deny access if the behaviour and hygiene standards are inappropriate for a dog in a public space - your space!


What does this mean exactly?: 

· Incessant barking 

· Jumping on people / furniture (unless related to a task. A task will be a deliberate, controlled, and clear action and usually cued by the handler)

· Interacting with objects inappropriately (unless task related) 

· Disobeying the handlers’ requests to settle down – no control by the handler

· Lunging at people

· Growling at people 

· Smells, unclean,

· Has an accident or is not toilet trained.

  

If a business is unsure or have doubts about asking a dog to leave they can always give the Australian Human Rights Commission a phone call and describe the issue at hand. 

Whiskey's Wish encourage businesses to contact us as we advocate for our recipient handler teams and will know which questions to ask!


Our Service Dog handler teams are our Ambassadors of the Service Dog movement and we encourage them as handlers to EDUCATE NOT LITIGATE!


WHAT IF OTHER PEOPLE (THE PUBLIC) COMPLAIN ABOUT THE DOG BEING PRESENT?

Explain that the service dog is medically necessary and the the Disability Discrimination Act (Cth) 1992 allows lawful right of public access and accommodation and protects the right of the person to be accompanied by the service dog in public places.



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