Service Dog Public Interaction Tools

Here are the tools you need to make your team’s service dog public interactions go as smoothly as possible. Find guidance on handling gatekeepers during a public access challenge and advice on interacting with the general public when you’re out in the world.

In addition, PSDP has a really useful flyer to help you address common questions from people during service dog public interactions, as well as an emergency card to help you be prepared for contingencies. Enjoy!

Content warning: The video below, “Service dog role play: Intrusive public“, contains intense role play interactions.


2021 PSDP Frequently Asked Questions Flyer

This printable (PDF) flyer is handy for those new to the concept of psychiatric service dogs, and is great for handlers to give out to interested members of the public. A previous (2015) version of this flyer is also available in Spanish/Español and French/Français.

2020 Handler Needs Space Flyer

This printable (PDF) flyer is a FAQ flyer, but features a prominent “HANDLER NEEDS SPACE” title with a stop sign. This design is for those who desire a stronger exit from public interactions than the basic FAQ flyer provides. Please use your discretion.

2014 PSDP Family & Friends Flyer

This printable (PDF) flyer can help friends and family members of service dog users adjust to having a service dog in their lives.

How I Handle a Public Access Challenge

Years spent trying different methods inform this article by Dr. Veronica Morris. She explains what works best for her, and how service dog users can make big improvements in their everyday interactions with gatekeepers. This article is adapted from her recurring post to the peer guidance group on the topic.

Interacting with the General Public

After learning from experience what doesn’t work well, Dr. Veronica Morris figured out what can better accomplish common goals when you’re out with your service dog or service dog in training and interacting with people. This article is adapted from her recurring post to the peer guidance group on the topic.

How does a service dog affect romantic relationships?

We interviewed three service dog community members to learn how they handle dating or romantic relationships while they have service dogs. This is already a challenging aspect of life for many of us—what does it mean to have a service dog in the mix?

PSDP Emergency Card

This printable (pdf) form is designed to be cut and folded into a card, filled out with information useful in emergencies, and kept with or on your service dog.


Video: Family respect for training (Service dog skit lessons)