September is National Service Dog Month which is a time dedicated to raising awareness and showing appreciation for the extraordinary work service animals do every day for the people in their care. The National Service Dog Month respects and honors service dogs for enhancing millions of lives better and safer. 

These amazing dogs of service can help people in dire need and accomplish doing heroic deeds.

Six Interesting Facts About Service Dogs

1. Service dogs are not pets. Service animals are defined by The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.

2. Service dogs are highly trained professionals that undergo hundreds and even thousands of hours of training.

3. A service dog training is a costly and time-consuming process. The preparation for service dog starts when they are only two days old puppies, with neuromuscular stimulation exercises that prepare the animals to handle potentially stressful situations and routinely perform specialized tasks. The training process can last months, and sometimes even years.

4. Retrievers were born and bred to be a service dog, but any breed can do it. Any breed can work as a service dog according to the ADA. But experiences show retrievers are among the best because they love to use their mouths. Plus, they have excellent public perception, unlike pit bulls, which in some states are banned from being used as service dogs.

5. The service dog vests are optional. Service dogs are not required to wear any gear that identifies them as working dogs per the ADA. They only need to wear a leash or tether, unless it interferes with accomplishing a task, and are allowed to accompany their human partners anywhere that’s open to the public, including airports or restaurants.

6. Service dogs need and require care as well. The rewards from a service dog are priceless for all involved.

7. Services dogs do not include therapy dogs, emotional support animals, or other types of working K9s.

Types of Service Dogs

There are different types of service dogs that are trained for specific people and specific disabilities.

  • For the blind, there are guide dogs
  • For deaf or hearing impaired persons, there are hearing dogs
  • For persons who use wheelchairs, there are mobility assistance service dogs
  • Seizure response dogs help protect persons with seizure disorders when a seizure occurs
  • Diabetes assistance dogs to detect blood sugar highs and lows by scent

Service dogs are trained to inspire confidence, provide companionship, and live to protect, serve, and assist their handlers. Guide dogs, seeing-eye dogs, service pets, and assistance animals are helping their humans overcome debilitating mental illnesses, perform tasks, accomplish goals, and embark on adventures.

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