Understanding And Appreciating Service Dogs
Many animals have the intelligence to be service animals, but there’s something special about the bond between a dog and a human. Dogs really are man’s best friend, and they are happy to help them in any way they can. Dogs are perfectly suited to be service dogs because of their charisma and affinity for humans.
Dogs that undergo service training have a tough road ahead of them. Their education is so important because they will be assisting their owners with everyday life. Sometimes, they will lead the blind through busy city streets that are laden with danger and obstacles at every turn. Sometimes, they will retrieve items throughout their owners’ homes that are needed for daily life. Sometimes, they will even detect illness like seizures and cancer or heart problems and warn their owners if they smell an attack coming on. Dogs are remarkable creatures that have the ability to change and save lives.
It’s important to understand that service dogs shouldn’t be interrupted during their training or when you see them out with their owners. These dogs are at work and cannot be bothered or distracted. They usually go through a year to two of intense training before they are awarded to a person in need. If you see a service dog at work, there are some important things to keep in mind:
- Never touch or speak to the dog. This is a distraction that could cause the person in need a great deal of distress, especially if they are blind or reliant on the dog for their safety.
- Never feed the dog; even the most dedicated service dog will by swayed by food!
- If you want to know something about the dog, ask the owner and don’t bother the dog.
- If you want to help out, ask first. If the person needs help, they will gladly accept your offer, but they do know best, and if they feel it will be a distraction to the dog, please don’t push the issue.