As you may already know, there are differences between a service dog and a pet dog. Service dogs are highly trained pups who are taught to perform a very specific service for their handlers. Sure, they are lovable and adorable, but they are not begging to be pet, and they probably aren’t even looking for your attention. In fact, you are supposed to ignore service dogs when you’re around them. These are busy dogs! They are best left alone when they’re providing the service they were trained to do. But what happens if the dog comes up to you?


A viral post that has been all over social media will tell you exactly what to do if a service dog approaches you.


After all, if a service dog is trying to get your attention, you might assume one of two things. You might think, “Oh look, this cute dog wants to be pet! No, maybe he wants to play fetch!” Or if you’re not that into dogs, you might be like, “Get away from me, please.” This last situation is what inspired one Tumblr user to write a post on service dogs, which has since gone viral.

In the Tumblr post, user lumpatronics wrote about how their service dog reacted when they fell. The user wrote that they fell on their face, which was “awful but ultimately harmless.” Their service dog, however, thought the owner was having a seizure, and as the dog was trained to get an adult if the owner was indeed having a seizure, that’s exactly what the dog did.

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The user wrote, “I went after him after I had dusted off my jeans and my ego, and I found him trying to get the attention of a very annoyed woman. She was swatting him away and telling him to go away. So I feel like I need to make this heads up. If a service dog without a person approaches you, it means the person is down and in need of help.”

So what does that mean for you?


The user went on to explain exactly what you should do if a service dog in uniform is trying to get your attention: “Don’t get scared, don’t get annoyed, follow the dog! If it had been an emergency situation, I could have vomited and choked, I could have hit my head, I could have had so many things happen to me.”

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Remember: a service dog is trained to do one job, and to do it well. The chances of them getting distracted and wanting to hang out with you while they leave their owner alone are very slim. If a service dog approaches you, they need your help, so investigate. Even if it is a false alarm, you’re better off doing something rather than ignoring the dog.


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