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  Service Dogs and Other Special Animal Relationships Links

Service dogs are partnered with a specific individual for the purpose of helping that individual with a disability. When service dogs are admitted to places that exclude other dogs it is not the dog that is getting a special privilege. The special privilege belongs to the person who relies upon the dog. If the person with the dog is not the person in need of service then ordinary dog rules apply.

Some of the links below explain what a service dog is and how it is distinguished from a dog that merely does good deeds. Some of the links will lead to help in locating or training service dogs, others explain the rules on access rights for people using service animals. And finally there is a list of books and videos relating to everything from training to legal rights to just feel good stories and discussion groups for sharing and information.

Howstuffworks "How Guide Dogs Work"

Explains what guide dogs do, how they're trained, where they come from and more.

A Guide to Disability Rights Laws -

Provides contact information, links and law references for diability laws and policies Americans with Disabilities Act; Telecommunications Act; Fair Housing Act; Air Carrier Access Act; Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act; National Voter Registration Act; Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Rehabilitation Act; Architectural Barriers Act; General Sources of Disability Rights Information; Statute Citations

Access Rights of People with Disabilities

Information in pamphlet form on access rights for those using service animals. Covers such topics as the fact that the person need not identify or prove the nature of their disability to get access, that the person need not provide proof that the animal is a service animal, but that even a service animal can be excluded when an individual animal represents a direct safety hazard. Although designed for New York it will generally apply throughout the United States - though some specifics will differ.

Assistance Animal Access Consulting Service

Information on assistance animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Service Animal Information

Covers commonly asked questions about service animals in places of business.

International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

A nonprofit, cross-disability organization representing people partnered with guide, hearing and service dogs. Has some really excellent information for sorting out the various rules. See Getting through the Maze (Caroom)

Assistance Dog Institute

The Assistance Dog Institute raises and trains service dogs. We also have a college program where people can earn an Associate of Science degree in either Assistance Dog Training or Human-Canine Life Sciences. When lasted visited the web site did not provide full access.

Service Dog Schools and Information

Lists schools by state with links to web sites or e-mail as available. The home page is a commercial site offering dog packing, service dog, and search and rescue dog equipment.

Assistance Dogs of America

Assistance Dogs of America, Inc. locates, trains and places highly skilled service and therapy dogs with disabled adults and children to help them become more independent. ADAI is dedicated to training 'throwaway' dogs rescued from animal shelters, and/or dogs donated by pet owners.

Pawsitivity Service Dogs

Providing professionally-trained psychiatric service dogs.

Guide Dog Schools

A list of guide and service dog organizations.

Susquehanna Service Dogs

Susquehanna Service Dogs breeds or acquires, raises, trains and provides service dogs to assist people with disabilities to become more independent.

Dogs for the Disabled

The program is designed to reach many of the physically challenged, who can then expand their world and enrich their lives through the use of an Assistance Dog. Dogs trained are as Service Dogs, Hearing Dogs, and Companion Dogs.

Assistance Dogs International

Describes a variety of assistance dogs. Information on training standards, public access, conferences and more. It includes information on therapy/social dogs. These dogs are not household pets taken out for visits but or are in the nature of "staff" to a facility - that is they either reside at the facility or spend most of their waking hours there.

Amazing Tails,LLC.INC

Amazing Tails trains dogs for people with physical disabilities including service, support, seizure and diabetes alert, and hearing dogs. They will place dogs in any part of the country after completing the application and interview process.

Dogs for the Deaf

From the International Cyberzine for Working Dogs, some general information and resources on hearing dogs.


D4D trains dogs to alert to the scent of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia

ADEu - Assistance Dogs Europe

Assistance Dogs Europe is an umbrella organisation of the national assistance dog organisations across Europe. Assistance Dogs Europe has been registered as an international not-for-profit organisation in Belgium. The Key Aims of Assistance Dogs Europe are as follows: To provide a practical network to support the development of assistance dog programmes throughout Europe. To set up Europe-wide standards that assistance dog programmes work to. To provide a European accreditation system for assistance dog programmes that meet the agreed standards. To lobby for common access rights for assistance dog partnerships across Europe based on agreed standards that define a registered assistance dog. To ensure that the highest possible welfare standards are in place for all assistance dogs and to use the status accorded to assistance dogs to encourage responsible dog ownership amongst the general public.

The Sam Simon Foundation Hearing Dog Program

Sam Simon Foundation is a nonprofit organization that trains rescued dogs to become Hearing Dogs for people deaf and hard of hearing living in California. Dogs that are in training visit Senior Assisted Living homes as part of our Pet Visitation Program.

Seizure Alert Dogs

An article abstract on serisure alert dogs. The full article is available by subsciption only. See the page for details. I'm not a subscriber so I haven't seen the full article.

Canine Partners of the Rockies, Inc  

CaPR trains service dogs for "mobility limited" Colorado residents to facilitate greater independence with activities of daily living. 

Canine Partners For Life

Trains and places service dogs, seizure alert dogs, home companions and residential (community) companions.

Paws with a Cause

Trains a variety of service dogs including seizure alert dogs.

Dog Assistance in Disability This site is a UK resource

Located in the UK this organization helps people train their own dogs to become assistance dogs.

Canine Companions for Independence

An explanation of the various kinds of service dogs. Includes dogs called "social dogs" for helping people avoid isolation.

Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc.

A very complete description of this program based in San Rafael, California. This site answers many of the most common questions about guide dogs, how they are bred, raised and trained.

The Seeing Eye

Offers information and resources on guide dogs. The FAQ pages contains a list of guide dog and service dog organizations and resources.

Institute for Canine Studies

The Institute for Canine Studies is dedicated to reducing the wait for trained service dogs, primarily by training service dog trainers. ICS plans include creating a comprehensive, self-sustaining facility serving a wide sampling of the dog oriented community. To support its service dog training goals ICS will include other dog oriented services such as a dog park, grass activity field, covered training building, and visitor center


Owner Trained Assistance Dogs - Discussion List

The purpose of the list is to share information about how to select and train (or maintain training) of service and assistance dogs. Since the focus is owner-trained there is obviously no expectation that participants are professionals or experienced dog trainers.

TOP DOG Service Dog Training

Teaches people with physical disabilities how to train their own dogs to become fully certified service dogs. Also has books and videos available.

Teamwork: A Dog Training Manual For People With Disabilities
by Stewart Nordensson & Lydia Kelley

Teaches people with physical disabilities to train their dogs in basic obedience as a foundation for service dog training!

Teamwork II: Dog Training For People With Disabilities (Service Exercises) Dvd
by Stewart Nordensson & Lydia Kelley

Demonstrates how to teach a dog service exercises such as retrieving dropped objects, pulling a wheelchair, etc. to assist a person with a disability.

Teamwork For People With Disabilities Dvd
by Stewart Nordensson & Lydia Kelley

This video/DVD will show you how to teach your dog basic obedience commands, offering various techniques and methods that will work for people who are ambulatory, people who use canes, crutches, or walkers, people in manual wheelchairs and people who use power chairs.

More Service and Therapy Dog Resources from



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