Service Dogs and What They Do

Service Dogs Brief

Introduction To Service Dogs

Service dogs are part of the working group of dogs that assist people that have special needs or disabilities. They are not personal pets that are turned into service dogs, they are chosen to be specially trained in assisting the disabled person. They are also not required to wear special vests, so you should never assume that a dog in a public place is not a service dog. It is unnaceptable to pet or distract service dogs while they are working. The purpose of a service dog is to assist the disabled so that they can live a more normal life like those that do not need them.

Types Of Service Dogs

There are many different specialties that service dogs can be trained for. From wheelchair assistance to psychiatric services, so many people are able to receive the help they need from these animals. Those that are confined to a wheelchair can get help with retrieving dropped objects, opening doors, or retrieving the phone. Phsychiatric service dogs can assist people dealing with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. People who suffer from epilepsy or diabetes may have a service dog that can detect abnormal blood sugar levels or seizures. Other service dogs can assist people with hearing and visual impairments.

Laws Regarding Service Dogs and Proper Etiquette

The Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA) through the Department of Justice oversees the laws involving service dogs. Under the ADA, service dogs must be allowed to go into all places that the general public is allowed to enter. They must be harnessed, leashed, tethered, and kept under control of their owner. Service dog handlers cannot be asked about their disability under the ADA. Only two questions are permitted to be asked about their service dog: "Is the dog indeed a service dog and required to assist with a disability?" and "What specific tasks has the dog been trained to do (in order to assist the handler)?" Service dog handlers cannot be charged more money than others, or asked to leave public premises unless the dog is uncontrollable without being able to correct the behavior.

Elizabeth Strack INFO 300 Summer 2019