Every day we appreciate the love and loyalty that our dogs bring to our lives. Service dogs go above and beyond in this role, allowing their owners to live safer and more independent lives. Are you service dog savvy? Check out the top questions about service dogs, and find out just how much you know.
How old are service dogs when they begin their training?
Training can start when puppies are as young as two days old, in the form of neuromuscular stimulation exercises. When puppies are more mature, they can begin a training program more specific to the tasks they’ll be performing, usually lasting about 18 months.
Are service dogs trained to always be obedient?
Actually, service dogs are trained to disobey! That is, they are taught to perform selective disobedience, meaning they must be able to differentiate and disobey any command that would put the handler in danger.
Can other animals be service animals?
Yes, but dogs are often the best fit for the job. Trainers attempted using service monkeys, but found that dogs were less expensive and could be trained more reliably.
Is it okay to pet or play with a service dog?
Sometimes, but you should always ask an owner before petting or directing noises toward a service dog, as they might be on duty. That being said, service dogs get time off too, and usually enjoy play time and belly rubs when they’re off the clock.