Businesses are allowed to ask:
Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals: Where are they allowed and under what conditions? by the ADA National Network
Right to Emotional Support Animals in "No Pet" Housing by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
What Does A Service Dog Look Like?
BASIC EXAMPLES OF STANDARD SERVICE DOG BEHAVIOR
Commands: Commands may be given to the animal verbally, via hand signals, or a combination of both.
CONTROLLED UNLOAD OUT OF A VEHICLE AND CONTROLLED EXIT: The service dog must wait until released before coming out of the vehicle. Once outside, it must wait quietly unless otherwise instructed by the Individual. The service dog may not run around, be off lead, or ignore commands. Essentially, the animal should be unobtrusive and unloaded in the safest manner possible. When leaving a building, the service dog should be in appropriate heel position and not display any fear of vehicle or traffic sounds.
APPROACHING A BUILDING: After unloading, the service dog should stay in a relative heel position and not forge ahead or lag behind. The service dog should not display a fear of cars or traffic noises and must display a relaxed attitude. When the handler stops for any reason, the service dog should also stop.
CONTROLLED ENTRY THROUGH A DOORWAY: Upon entering a building, the dog should not wander off or seek attention from the public. The service dog should wait quietly until the handler is fully inside, then should calmly walk beside the handler. The service dog must not pull or strain against the lead or try to push its way past the individual but should wait patiently while entry is completed. An exception is if the service dog is needed to pull the handler’s wheel chair.
HEELING THROUGH A BUILDING: Once inside a building, the handler and the service dog should be able to walk through the area in a controlled manner. The service dog should always be within touching distance where applicable or no greater than a foot away from the handler. The service dog should not seek public attention or strain against the lead (except in cases where the service dog may be pulling your wheelchair, if applicable). The service dog should readily adjust to speed changes, turn corners promptly, and travel through a crowded area without interacting with the public. In tight quarters, such as store aisles, the service dog must be able to get out of the way of obstacles and not destroy merchandise by knocking it over or by playing with it.
SIX FOOT RECALL ON LEAD: The handler should be able to sit the dog, leave it, travel six feet, then turn and call the service dog to him/her. The service dog should respond promptly and not stop to solicit attention from the public or ignore the command. The service dog should come close enough to the handler to be readily touched. The recall should be smooth and deliberate without the animal trudging to the handler or taking any detours along the way.
SITS ON COMMAND: The service dog must respond promptly each time it is cued to sit, with no more than two commands with no extraordinary gestures.
DOWNS ON COMMAND: The service dog must respond promptly each time it is cued to down, with no more than two commands with no extraordinary gestures. The dog should not break the down to solicit attention from the public and should ignore food. The dog may be reminded to stay down if needed. If someone asks to pets the animal, the service dog must behave appropriately and not break the stay. The individual may remind the dog to stay if the service dog begins to break the stay.
NOISE DISTRACTION: The service dog may acknowledge nearby noises, but may not in any way show aggression or fear. A normal startle reaction is fine (the service dog may jump and or turn), but the service dog should quickly recover and continue along on the heel. The service dog should not become aggressive, begin trembling, etc.
RESTAURANT: While seated at a dining table (restaurant or other suitably alternative location), the service dog should go under the table or, if size prevents that, stay close by the individual. Service dogs should never sit on chairs or laps, be fed from the table, or allowed to lick dinnerware. The service dog must sit or lie down and may move a bit for comfort during the meal, but should not be up and down a lot or need a lot of reminding.
OFF LEAD: If the handler should happen to accidently drop the leash while moving the handler should be able to maintain control of the service dog and get the leash back in its appropriate position.
BEHAVIORS THAT ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE
- Any dog that displays aggressive behavior (growling, biting, raising hackles, showing teeth, etc.) or exhibits otherwise unmanageable behavior does not qualify as a Service Dog.
- The dog will only urinate or defecate in designated areas, outdoors. The handler is responsible for picking up after their Service Dog.
- Service Dogs should be clean, and should not be allowed to sit in shopping carts, sniff or nose at food in grocery stores, or be carried in a manner where they may shed or drop dirt from their feet into food.
Bottom Line: The dog demonstrates that he/she is safe to be in public and the handler demonstrates that they have control of the dog at all times.