The ADA has clear guidelines about what does and does not constitute acceptable service dog behavior, and says clearly the manager may ask the dog be left outside but must let the handler return to complete business. (the site won't let me post a link--fix it yourself: adata[dot]org/publication/service-animals-booklet) Many of the behaviors you describe should have resulted in the dog being asked to leave.

The FAA has a different set of guidelines about service animals that take precedence over the ADA. I have a friend on the west coast who leads seminars about preparing service dogs for air travel that will hopefully prevent such chaos as you describe--at least in those dogs.

Finally, no "paperwork" for service dogs is required by law. A person using a service dog may not be denied access because there is no "paperwork." Certain training organizations may offer certificates that training was completed, which may assuage some.

Neither can you ask about anyone's medical condition or need for a service animal. In fact, per the ADA, you may only ask two questions:

1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

And that is the key--a service animal does not perform "naturally" but has been TRAINED to assist the person and how to behave in public.

I know of a miniature poodle trained as a diabetes alert dog (many hours introducing the smell of low blood sugar and training a specific behavior to alert the diabetic), and it performs impeccably in public. I know of a mastiff assisting a disabled Vietnam vet that was initially taught to be a mobility assistant--but which taught herself to prevent him from getting out of his chair if he needed to keep his oxygen on. (It's hard to stand when a mastiff lies across your legs.)

Education is also key--that is, education of the public on what to expect from a true service dog and the knowledge to challenge someone who is clearly trying to game the system.

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