If A Service Dog Without An Owner Approaches You, Follow Them

Most people understand the basic practice of how to interact with service dogs, which is that you should never approach or pet a service dog unless you’ve asked the owner first. And sometimes when you ask, the owner might say no, and you have to respect that because when service dogs are working they can’t always be disrupted.

Recently though, there have been articles and videos circulating online about what to do if a service dog approaches you without their owner, which is important for everyone to know.

The Back Story

Emma and diabetic alert dog Rufus at elementary school in farmingdale new york
Photo Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday via Getty Images

An epileptic woman tripped and fell by accident, and her service dog thought she was having a seizure so he went to find help. When the woman went to locate the dog, she found him being swatted away by a woman who didn’t realize what he was trying to do. Because of this, she chose to share her story online, so this hopefully wouldn’t happen to others.

If a service dog approaches you without their owner, they’re not looking to annoy you or get some affection from you. They’re looking for your help.