Dog Heroes Dog Ownership & Training Rescue & Adoption

Service Dogs Therapy Dogs


Heather Pidcock-Reed

PO Box 221876, Hollywood, FL 33022 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll-free) • www.masoncrest.com

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K E Y I C O N S T O L O O K F O R : Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more! Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field. Chapter 1:What Is a Service Dog?..................................... 7 Chapter 2:How Service Dogs Help People. .......................21 Chapter 3: Types of Service Dogs.....................................31 Chapter 4: Fostering and Training ...................................51 Chapter 5:Can Your Dog Be A Service Dog?.......................63 Series Glossary of Key Terms. .........................................74 Organizations to Contact................................................75 Further Reading and Internet Resources..........................76 Index . ..........................................................................78 About the Author / Photo Credits. ...................................80 CONTENTS


archaeological sites: places where evidence of past human activity is preserved domesticated: an animal that has been tamed and adapted over time to be kept as a pet or farm animal fresco: a type of painting that is done on wet plaster and becomes permanently a part of the plaster as it dries

Service Dogs


What Is a Service Dog?

Dogs Throughout History Dogs have lived alongside people for thousands of years as both companions and helpers. While no one knows exactly when or how they became domesticated , at some point in time, both humans and the wolves that would eventually evolve into the domesticated canines that we know today figured out that it was beneficial for both species to work together. The first relationship between the two may have begun with a wolf living on the outskirts of a person’s living space, taking and eating the scraps of food that were left behind. The person then perhaps discovered that the wolf would bark and alert them to approaching danger. Evidence found at archaeological sites of ancient civilizations has shown that dogs were not only considered to be useful helpers to those they lived with but also valued as companions. In one of the oldest known stories, The Epic of Gilgamesh , dogs appear as the treasured companions of the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar. While the people of the ancient Middle East utilized canines as hunters and guardians, artwork and inscriptions show that they were also viewed as companions and lived in homes with people, just as they do today.


The Greek goddess Artemis is usually depicted with a dog at her side. She had the ability to talk to dogs to control them.

Service Dogs


Other ancient cultures had similar relationships with their dogs. The Egyptians treasured them so much that some of them had their dogs mummified in the same way that people were. The ancient Greeks viewed dogs as wise and loyal creatures. One of the most famous dogs in literature comes from the ancient Greek epic The Odyssey . In this story, King Odysseus has a dog named Argos that waits for him to return from a journey that lasts 20 years. When Odysseus finally arrives home, he finds that there are several man trying to marry his wife, Penelope. Because Odysseus has returned in a disguise given to him by the goddess Athena, no one recognizes him except for Argos. Since Odysseus doesn’t want to ruin his disguise, he can’t acknowledge his dog’s greeting. Ignored by his master, Argos lies down and dies. This story illustrates how the Greeks believed dogs to be loyal to their masters, which is a belief we still hold today. The ancient Romans also valued their dogs. Just as in Greece, archaeologists have found artwork showing canines with their masters and mistresses. Some depict children with their pets and show scenes that would be easily recognizable by modern people. For instance, one Gallic piece portrays a young boy giving his dog his plate to lick. The ancient Chinese, Indian, Norse, Celtic, and Mesoamerican cultures also placed a high value on their dogs. Stories from these cultures often feature dogs, and just as with other societies, we have found archaeological evidence that shows ancient peoples viewing their dogs as helpers and companions. No matter how and when the initial relationship between dogs and humans began, we do know that dogs rapidly became an important part of the everyday lives of people. They were used to guard homes, to hunt, to herd livestock, and as companions. And, as you will see shortly, they were even used as what modern people would call service dogs!

What Is a Service Dog?


A History of Service Dogs While the notion of officially trained and recognized service dogs is a modern one, there is some evidence to suggest that our canine friends were used to assist people in ancient times. One of the earliest examples of this is an Roman fresco located in the ruins of the city Herculaneum. This fresco shows a blind man being led and assisted by his dog. It dates back to approximately 79 ce .

An ancient Roman sculpture depicting two dogs. The Romans held dogs in very high esteem as hunters and companions.

Service Dogs


Additionally, there have been several carvings and paintings found throughout medieval Europe and China that indicate various cultures across history have trained dogs to assist humans with special tasks, such as leading the blind. While historians and archaeologists don’t have an exact date as to when this occurred, the evidence we do have suggests it happened thousands of years ago. It wasn’t until the 1750s that the first planned program to train guide dogs for the blind was created in Paris, France. Shortly after, Josef Riesinger, a blind man from Vienna, trained his spitz dog so well that many people thought he was only pretending to be blind. The idea of using dogs to guide the blind continued throughout the 1800s. The founder of the Imperial Royal Institute for the Education of the Blind in Vienna wrote a book on the topic of educating blind people. In this book, he mentioned the usefulness of teaching dogs to assist them. It wasn’t until World War I that the use of guide dogs as we know it today began. Thousands of soldiers who fought in the war returned home blind following their service at the front because of the type of poison gas used. Dr. Gerhard Stalling, a German doctor, came up with the idea to instruct large numbers of dogs to assist these soldiers. In August of 1916, Dr. Stalling founded the very first guide dog instruction center in Oldenburg. Once the idea took hold, similar training centers opened across Europe. Combined, these centers instructed approximately 600 canines a year. While Dr. Stalling’s centers closed in 1926, other training facilities had opened up in other places. The most notable of these was located in Potsdam, Germany. When Dorothy Eustis, an American responsible for training military and police dogs, heard about this school, she decided to check it out. She spent many months there studying their methods and wrote an article for the Saturday Evening Post about the school. She ended her article by stating that with a guide dog, “The future for all blind men can be the same, however blinded. No longer dependent on a member of the family, a friend,

What Is a Service Dog?


German shepherds just like this were used to assist soldiers who were blinded during World War I.

or a paid attendant, the blind can once more take up their normal lives as nearly as possible where they left them off, and each can begin or go back to a wage-earning occupation, secure in the knowledge that he can get to and from his work safely and without cost; that crowds and traffic have no longer any terrors for him and that his evenings can be spent among friends without responsibility or burden to them; and last, but far from least, that long, healthful walks are now possible to exercise off the unhealthy fat of inactivity and so keep the body strong and fit. Gentleman, again without reservation, I give you the shepherd dog.”

Service Dogs


Because of this article, a blind man named Morris Frank wrote to Eustis to ask her if he could bring guide dogs to the United States. She agreed and trained a dog named Buddy for Frank. Buddy is believed to be the first guide dog in America. In 1929, Eustis went on to create the first Seeing Eye school in the United States, which was located in Whippany, New Jersey. She eventually opened up another Seeing Eye center in Switzerland. Eustis went on to inspire others to create their own schools for Seeing Eye dogs. It wasn’t until the 1960s that dogs began to be trained to provide services to people with other disabilities. While there was no official program, people began to train canines to assist those with hearing impairments by alerting them to important noises. By the 1970s, official training centers began to offer these types of dogs. Since then, dogs have been trained to assist people with mobility issues, and also those with autism. The ever-expanding role of service dogs throughout history shows that dogs are capable of doing amazing things. What Are Service Dogs? The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) created a legal definition within the United States as to what a service dog was. In 2010, this definition was updated. According to the ADA, “Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with a mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained

What Is a Service Dog?


to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.” As you can see, a service dog has been trained to perform specific tasks to assist someone with a disability. Dogs can be trained to alert their owners of low blood sugar, an impending seizure, an upcoming anxiety attack, and more. They can be taught to pick up things that their owner has dropped, as well as to turn on lights and perform other tasks that a an owner with disabilities owner has trouble with. In addition, they can be instructed to alert hearing-impaired owners to alarms or other loud noises that would be useful for the person to know about. The possibilities for what a service dog can do are nearly endless.

Scan here to view a short video of a service dog in action.

Service Dogs


While not a legal requirement, service dogs often wear vests identifying themselves.

What Is a Service Dog?



After nineteen-year-old Morris Frank’s father read him Dorothy Eustis’s 1927 article, he wrote a letter to Eustis asking her to train a dog that could assist him. Eustis invited him to Switzerland and allowed him to work with two dogs she was training at the time. A female German shepherd named Kiss worked the best with Frank, although he quickly renamed the dog Buddy. In 1928, he returned to the United States with Buddy, who is considered to be the first known American Seeing Eye dog. After returning home, Frank undertook a successful campaign to introduce Seeing Eye dogs to guide the blind in the United States. Buddy assisted Frank by guiding him through crowds, helping him cross streets, and obeying his commands, unless the command would lead to Frank’s direct harm. Buddy would even stop walking if a low-hanging branch was in Frank’s way. People across the country were amazed at the tasks Buddy could perform. Frank traveled the country to show the nation what Seeing Eye dogs could do. Buddy and Frank were even received at the White House and met American Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. When crowds would applaud Buddy, she would bark excitedly to thank them. Buddy passed away in 1938. She was considered a national hero. Because of the hard work that Buddy and Frank did across America, Eustis was able to establish a Seeing Eye dog training facility in New Jersey. As of 2010, this training center had educated 15,000 guide dogs for the blind.

Service Dogs


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