What is a Service Dog?

Dogs are incredible animals. Not only do they make great pets, but their intelligence allows them to learn a variety of tricks that can help their owners in daily life, whether on a task force, in the military or even in the home. Service animals are trained to perform specific tasks to help individuals who have  disabilities. Most people are familiar with guide dogs or seeing eye dogs. Did you know that there are other types of service dogs that help people with a variety of disabilities?

Service Animals vs Emotional Support Animals

In recent years, there’s been a rise in registered emotional support animals. You may hear about them on the news or see them in public spaces, such as a college campus. While an emotional support animal provides comfort and companionship to others, they differ from service animals in that they are not trained to perform a specific task. You must know the difference between emotional support animals and service animals because each one has specific rights and rules they need to follow. To learn more, check out Stephanie Woodward’s article Service & Emotional Support Animals.

Service Dogs and Wheelchairs

Some service dogs help with sight-related disabilities. Others assist when their owner is having a seizure. There are also dogs that are trained to help wheelchair users. Some tasks include retrieving items dropped on the floor, carrying items purchased at the store and opening and closing doors. While investing in a good motorized wheelchair allows you to live more independently, you can take independence to the next level with a furry companion.

Life with a Service Dog

Some of our Q Roll Models and friends of Quantum live with service dogs and blog about their experiences. One such person is Amy Bleile, who became a service dog mom in April. She owns a golden retriever named Beans. Amy wishes to train Beans as a service dog, so he can help her with tasks at home and in the classroom.

Alison Chancellor also blogs about her life as an experienced dog handler. She recently started working with her new service dog, Lambo. Read more about Alison’s reflections of living with a service dog.


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