Assistance dogs on campus

You will probably see assistance dogs around campus, or perhaps you even have your own. These dogs play an essential role in helping their handlers with day to day life, and include dogs for various disabilities or long term health problems, such as seizures or hearing problems, not just those with visual problems. The most important thing to keep in mind if you see an assistance dog is that they are working, so please be respectful of this if you choose to approach an assistance dog and their handler.

It's also worth bearing the following points in mind:

  • Please talk to the handler, not the dog. The dog is used to working for the disabled owner, so if it is responding to you, it is no longer focused on their needs but on you.
  • Please don't ask the handler details about their disabilities. This is incredibly personal information which they may not wish to share.
  • Please don't stroke or praise the dog without asking the handler first.
  • Please respect the handler's decision if they do not want to stop and talk about their dog.
  • Please don't feed an assistance dog.
  • Please don't take photos of the dog or their handler without permission.

We love our diverse campus community and thank you for showing respect to our assistance dogs and their handlers.

Please take a look at our guidance and procedure below for more information and get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.