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Service Dog 101

Ignore them!
Save any commentary for when you are out of earshot and please don't take pictures without permission

Do not pet
unless invited by human. They are working, and in some cases, petting a service dog (without permission) can affect that dogs ability to assist their human, especially if they do scent work or heartbeat tracking.


What to do if someone
with a service dog enters my business?

Ask these two questions:

- Is this dog task trained to help mitigate a disability?

- What task has the dog been trained to perform?

You cannot ask for the dog to demonstrate that skill (e.g can't ask to see a dog alert for a seizue).

do ask these questions. It helps to weed out fakes and untrained teams, who often put disabled teams in danger.

Why "registration"
isn't a thing.

Service Dog Registries are Not Sanctioned on State or Federal Levels

In spite of the top google results for “service animal”, there is no such thing as a legitimate service dog registry in the US. Every business offering “certification” is perpetuating a false assumption that either enables non-disabled people to claim their untrained dogs are service animals OR disproportionately scams disabled folks into paying for an unessecary service. PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR CERTIFICATION

Valid Reasons for Denial of Access


If the dog's presence would 
the nature of services or goods of a business.

e.g. sterile environments, working farms, some areas of zoos

If the dog is not under control of the handler, or is not housebroken.


Service Dogs are not required to be vested or labeled. 

Service Dogs must be under control of the handler at all times.

While most dogs are leashed, some tasks or disabilities require unleashed tasks. As long as the dog is under control of the handler, this is ffine.

Service Dog  /  ESA /  Therapy Dog

Service animals are defined as dogs [or miniature horses] that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.
Service Dogs have Public Access and Fair Housing rights.

ESAs provide relief to folks with mental illness and psychiatric disability. No training is required, nor registration.

ESAs have rights under the Fair Housing Act, but do not have public access rights.

Therapy Dog

A Therapy Dog is one who has been trained to provide affection, comfort, and support to people, often in settings such as hospitals, retirement homes, nursing home, schools, [etc].

Therapy Dogs do not have public access rights.

Other Resources

Service Dog FAQ

from the ADA

Service Animals

and Housing: FHA

Little Angels

Service Dogs

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