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December 2023

What Do You Do If A Service Dog Approaches You Alone?

Sunday, January 19, 2020
posted by Jim Murphy

If you see a service dog follow you or approach you without his owner do not ignore him! He is coming to you for a reason.

A service dog, while wearing its vest or other markers, is on a mission to ensure his human stays safe. He is trained for any medical needs his human has, including navigation for the blind or various methods of therapy for anxiety. They are also trained to alert someone close by in case of emergency. Being approached by a service dog without their human is the only time it is okay to interact with the dog.

If you’re approached, this means his human is in danger. They may be in a medical emergency such as a seizure or diabetic coma. They may be injured and unable to seek help on their own. To aid the service dog in their attempt to seek help, look around for someone who may be in need. Ask the dog “What is it?” or “Show me!” and try to follow the direction they point. Once you locate the person in need of assistance, administer first aid if you are trained, or call 911.

If you are unable to locate the dog’s human, stay with the dog and contact medical authorities. You will be able to provide information regarding how long the dog has been away from his human and prevent him from running off further and putting himself at risk.

Thanks to for providing much of this valuable information.

Remember, your pets count!

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