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Assistance Dog Day

Assistance Dog Day celebrates assistance dogs and recognizes both them and their trainers. It aspires to raise funds and to increase awareness about the work assistance dogs do. Dog walks, dog shows, and dog graduation ceremonies are typical parts of the day. Many assistance dog training facilities hold open houses to showcase what they do. Assistance Dog Day takes place around the same time as International Assistance Dog Week, and during it on some years, but is not a part of it.

Assistance dogs improve the lives of people with disabilities or illnesses. For many people, an assistance dog means they are able to live independently. These specially trained dogs keep their owners safe, but they are not dogs for personal defense, protection, or comfort. There are a number of types of assistance dogs. Guide dogs are for the blind and those with vision loss. They help people cross the street, walk through doorways and around obstacles, and sit down. Hearing alert dogs help those with hearing loss. They recognize alarms and sirens, as well as the ringing of telephones and doorbells.

Another type of assistance dogs, service dogs, are devoted to people with limited mobility and other disabilities apart from blindness or deafness. They can carry items, open doors and drawers, assist with walking and balance, pull wheelchairs, and help with dressing, such as helping to pull off socks. Seizure alert dogs recognize signs of seizures, and medical alert dogs recognize signs of heart attacks, strokes, panic or anxiety attacks, and post-traumatic stress episodes. For all they do to help their owners, assistance dogs are celebrated today, and for all the work that is put in to train them, their trainers are recognized as well.

How to Observe Assistance Dog Day

Some ways you could spend the day include:

  • Share with others about the importance of assistance dogs and the different types of work they do.
  • Express thanks to any assistance dog trainers you know.
  • Check for dog walks, dog shows, dog graduation ceremonies, and other events being held as part of the day.
  • See if there are any assistance dog training facilities near you hosting open houses.
  • Learn more about organizations devoted to assistance dogs, such as Assistance Dogs International and the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners.
  • Raise funds for assistance dogs by donating to Assistance Dogs International or to other organizations or businesses that support assistance dogs.
  • If you are in need of one, search for an assistance dog.

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