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What You Need to Know About Comfort Dogs

by Jeffrey S Dawson

posted in Pets

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When people see animals out in public, many may want to stop and pet or play with them. There are some dogs who can easily handle this attention, and there are some who could be dangerous and lash out. One type of canine that you need to be careful around are comfort dogs, also known as therapy dogs.
Virtually unheard of in the past, except for Guide Dogs, more and more people are seeking and receiving legal permission to have a therapy companion in public places that previously did not allow dogs.
Comfort animals are often easy to spot, and sometimes wear a bandana or harness. And while many of them are cute, you should not pet them without explicit permission from their owner, or you may end up with a nasty bite. In an instant these furry friends can go from very docile to agitated, and your attention could cause a dog attack.
There are several reasons why you should avoid petting or distracting a therapy dog. Professional organizations and certified trainers train many of these service dogs, but that is not always the case. However; with this new trend it is common for owners or untrained individuals to do informal training with the dogs, and this can lead to some obedience or behavioral problems. You can't always tell when you're walking up to the dogs that aren't particularly well trained, until you find yourself in the midst of a dog attack.
Another reason to avoid contact with a comfort dog is that their focus is helping their owner to travel safely, and some therapy dogs can be very protective of their owners. Approaching one of these dogs and their owner can be perceived as a threat, and cause the dog to lash out.
Lastly, it's important to consider that these dogs serve an important function in the lives of their owners, but they're not equipment, and they do have the ability to be distracted. When you approach a comfort or therapy dog, you could distract them and cause the owner to be injured, or the dog to attack.
Protect yourself, and be aware that you shouldn't approach service animals without permission. If an incident does occur, and you do receive a dog bite as a result of an interaction with a therapy dog, you need to seek out immediate medical attention right away, and the services of an experienced dog bite personal injury attorney immediately.
About the Author: Contact The Law of Jeffrey S. Dawson today at 949/861-2191 for a free consultation to discuss your dog attack case. Dog attacks can be horrible and traumatic, but learning how to avoid one can literally save a life. If you have been involved in a dog attack, contact the law offices of Jeffrey S. Dawson to discuss your potential dog bite lawsuit settlement.
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