Have you ever been in a restaurant or store and wondered, “That dog doesn’t look and/or act like a service dog? That’s somebody’s pet. Why are they allowed in here?”
Fake service dogs seem to be everywhere, including in strollers and shopping carts. But what is a service dog, a therapy dog or an emotional support animal? How can you tell the difference? And if I’m a business owner, what do I do?
Our friends at Orvis produced a handy infographic that will answer those questions at a glance. Thanks, Orvis!
And remember, not all disabilities are visual. There are hidden disabilities that make it difficult to identify if the dog is working or not. When in doubt, you may ask:
1) Is this a service dog required because of a disability?
2) What work or task has this dog been trained to perform?
Then observe the dog’s behavior. Service dogs should never misbehave, defecate in public, pull, tug, growl or bark. They should be silent and working, concentrating on their person and waiting for their next command. Therefore, do not bother a team while they are working.