Sunday, December 11, 2011

Service Dog Distraction: Woof, & Other Senseless Actions


“Goodee the Service Dog, what are you doing?”

"Making a BLOG, what else do you think?”

 “I’m not sure Goodee, but I don’t think a human typing a blog ever looks or sounds like that.”

"It's my version of  blog typing  mom.  Humans pretend they are dogs. Why can't I pretend I am a human who is blogging?"

"I think that's reasonable Goodee. Do you have an example of a human trying to be a dog?"

“Well the other day this guy in Wal-Mar.  oops no specific mentions in our blog .  I know I’m on it mom.  “
“Anyway, this guy he was doing all kinds of crazy things that he thought looked and sounded like a dog.”
“Like I said mom when we were in Wal—Mar., oops. I mean when we were in the store just going past him he did weird stuff.”

“What kind of stuff Goodee?”

“Well, like throwing his head back and saying ARF & WOOF. —Things dogs just don’t do.”
“What did we do Goodee?”  Well, I think you looked at him but I just went right past him.”

My Service Dog Goodee is right.  We encountered a guy that made all kinds of noises the minute he saw Goodee.   At first I wasn’t sure the purpose for all the noise.
I heard him tell on-lookers:  “Oh I was just trying to aggravate the dog.”
He was successful in aggravating the human but the professional Service Dog was not distracted.

Service dogs must be able to ignore all distractions while doing their tasks Hours of training goes into making sure the dog is fit for their intended use.


“Besides noises, are there other things that bother us, Goodee the Service Dog?”
“Yes mom, people coming too close to us and people trying to get my attention.”
Goodee is correct people often walk around us or run ahead of us making noise trying to get “the dog” to look at them. Often they will follow us all over a store. . Some adults tell their children to follow us. as if we are an amusement ride.

“Why shouldn’t people come too close to us Goodee?”

“Well DUH Mom!”

“Goodee don’t be silly. Stop using that Urban Dictionary. We are trying to talk to our friends”

“It’s not a good idea to come close to a Service Dog and their handler because the handler needs lot of room. They may fall or have another condition that requires lots of space.  If the Service Dog is in training or just over-stimulated they might become distracted. Furthermore, the Service Dog may think you are trying to harm their human and become protective. “

“Right Goodee.” “What do you suppose would be another reason people shouldn’t try to get your attention?”

“I’m a SERVICE DOG not a PET! I’m not paying attention to them and I don’t belong to them. I am busy WORKING and don’t have time to socialize.”

Service Dog Goodee is both direct and correct. I often need Goodee to help me walk or balance. Some Service Dog handler’s need their dog to retrieve items or observe medical conditions. There’s often no time to meet and greet others.


Sometimes people will practically stand on their head trying to get Goodee’s attention. Goodee ignores them and they continue behavior that looks and sounds silly. Some behaviors make no sense and are a danger to others.

“You would think people would be smarter than that.”   “Goodee the Service Dog!” “Don’t be rude.” 

“Just sayin’ mom.”

“There was a store employee once who bent down and called “here doggie,” as if I was going to go to him.” ---PLEASE! “I’m on a leash attached to someone’s arm why would I go to someone else?” --- Furthermore “Here doggie, is not in my vocabulary.”

“Right Goodee,”

There was another store employee instance where the employee threw a bite of shrimp on the ground and called to Goodee as we passed by. “Leave it,” I advised Goodee. We moved past with no interest. The employee looked up in dismay. This type of behavior makes the floor dangerously slick and often frustrates the Service Dog and their handler.
Perhaps the most discrete distraction is the store employee who looks down and continually makes faces trying to gain the dog’s attention. This can disrupt the dog from work. --- It also shows poor customer service skills. The human Service Dog handler should be addressed. The dog is an important medical tool, not a toy for your entertainment.

I’ve read of instances where people try to disrupt the Service Dog to create noise in the interest of complaining and getting free services.  I also know some people like to show of their communication skills. –Others are simply desperate to see a dog.


Team Goodee finds many wonderful people as we travel. The situations in our blog are often the rare situation selected from thousands of things we have encountered.
We strive to be an educational Resource not a rant.
If you need assistance finding information about Service Dogs, please contact us.

On behalf of Service Dog Teams everywhere to al forms of distraction we say: “Not Now We Are Working.”

GoodeeWorks Productions

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