While it's hard to resist the temptation to pet a pooch, remember that there are a different set of rules to follow when meeting a working dog. You should never interfere with the duties at hand, and keep the following four things in mind before you approach:
- Remain calm. Do not behave in a way that would distract a dog or take away concentration even for a minute while busy. The pup's primary responsibility is leading someone else, so make sure your mannerisms are respectful.
- Ask first. Before asking if you can greet the dog, make sure the twosome has completed the task at hand. Never just stick your hand out to rub the dog or put it in the dog's face — he's busy!
- It's not snacktime. Because guide dogs are allowed to enter places that civilian pups cannot, offering treats can tempt the dogs to beg or accept food in restaurants. Treats also hinder his performance by drawing that attention to you and not his owner.
- Stay out of the way. Do not block a guide dog's path or call out to him. Also, keep in mind that while very talented, the dogs cannot read lights, so don't honk your horn or call out to the pedestrians to go ahead if you pass by in a car.