• Rhesa Houston, DVM

What to do when a service dog is disruptive


In my work as a veterinarian, I’ve come across stories on how businesses are having more customers with service dogs. As a business entity, do you know what to do when a service dog becomes disruptive? Do you and your employees know what the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), defines as disruptive service dog behavior?

At Assistance Animals Consulting, we are veterinarians, recognized experts uniquely qualified to serve the community by providing resources for education, behavioral understanding, and guidance regarding working animals. Our veterinarians are here to support you and your business.

Disruptive service dog behavior includes:

  • Barking when not specifically related to the handler’s disability.

  • Aggression towards people and other animals.

  • Inappropriate elimination- urinating or defecating within the business facility.

  • Being non-responsive to the verbal commands of the handler.

What to do when a service dog is being disruptive

If a service animal becomes disruptive and the handler does not take effective action to control it, staff may request that the animal be removed from the premises. If a particular service animal behaves in a way that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, staff may request that the animal be removed from the premises. In the case of a disruptive service dog, the business should give the handler/customer the option to obtain goods and services without the animal present.

One of the most important points to remember, treat your customers with disabilities using a service dogs the same as a customer without disabilities.


At Assistance Animals Consulting, we are always here to help you when you have questions about all working animals. Please contact us if we may be of help to you.

18 views

© 2018 by Assistance Animals Consulting