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Dogs

Service Dog

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A service dog is a type of assistance dog that is specially trained to help people who have disabilities other than visual or hearing impairment. Examples of these include Psychiatric service dogs, mobility assistance dogs, and seizure alert dogs. Service dogs are sometimes trained and bred by private organizations. In other cases, the disabled handler may train their dog themselves with the aid of a private trainer. While the law does not require any special labeling of these dogs, many service dogs can be identified by the cape, jacket, or harness they wear.

Among other things, service dogs are trained how to pick up objects, open and close doors, and operate light switches. Some service dogs are trained to pull individuals in wheelchairs. During their training, the dogs usually spend a year or more with a host family to become acquainted with working around people. Many service dogs continue their training after they are formally placed with a person, usually on a yearly basis.

The process of obtaining a service dog varies by each organization. Normally, an application must be submitted, and a waiting list is usually involved. The costs for a service dog also vary, however financial assistance may be available.

Patience and repetition are critical components of successful animal training for service dogs. In the United States, use of selected inmates in prisons as animal trainers has proved a valuable resource to service animal agencies. In addition to teaching the dogs basic obedience and other skills needed to prepare them for their future careers and thereby adding to the short-supply of service animals, such programs in correctional centers have proved to be mutually beneficial relationships. Often, the inmates develop improved socialization skills and behavior as a result of their work with the dogs.

Service dogs and their handlers enjoy special protection under the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which gives them equal access to public facilities, such as restaurants, parks, taxis, and airplanes.

See also

External links


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 | Guide Dog
 | Hearing Dog
 | Psychiatric Service Dog
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