It’s International Assistance Dog Week! It’s a week that we love seeing approaching in our calendar, as it means we can sit back and marvel at the hard work and dedication that all our assistance dogs put in from all around the world.
As we provide dog walking in Croydon, we get to interact with some fantastic animals and know just how valuable a dog can be. Join us as we take a look at what International Assistance Dog Week entails and why these dogs are an integral part of some people’s lives.
What Is It?
International Assistance Dog Week is dedicated to all the assistance dogs around the world which play an important role in the lives of many people who are living with disabilities and other conditions that require a helping paw every now and then.
During this week, we recognise the dedication of our assistance dogs and raise awareness to educate the public about the fantastic service that they can provide for people in need. These dogs perform heroic actions each and every day, so it’s only right that they have an entire week dedicated to them and the work that they do.
How Did It Begin?
International Assistance Dog Week began in 2009 and became possible thanks to a paraplegic names Marcie Davis. After being a member of a service dog team and author of “Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook” which is a resource for everything a person could ever need to know about service dogs, Davis became an internet radio host of her “Working Like Dogs” programme which sponsors International Assistance Dog Week.
The event runs from the first Sunday of August every year.
What Are Assistance Dogs?
Assistance dogs are dogs which have been trained to aid a person with their daily life. They are companions to some of the most vulnerable in our society and the help and support that they provide can save lives.
Over 7,000 people have in the UK benefit from having an assistance dog to help them with practical tasks around the home, as well as providing them with emotional support. The enables more people with disabilities and limiting conditions to have a greater sense of independence in their own homes and give them the opportunity to take back their lives.
To be an assistance dog, the dog must have been trained by specialist, accredited trainers of Assistance Dog International (ADI) and the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF). They have to meet certain requirements and receive specific training to ensure that they can aid people effectively.
Assistance dogs must:
– Have adequate training so that they behave well in public places
– Have a safe, reliable temperament so that they can’t put the person they are assisting or themselves in danger.
– Have full house training.
– Be paired with a handler who has also been trained how to interact and work with their assistance dog.
– Wear a recognisable harness or coat to alert other members of the public that they are an assistance dog.
– Be checked regularly by a veterinarian to ensure they remain healthy and happy in order to carry out their essential duties.
These dogs can be an amazing addition to any person that requires a little bit of help to be independent in their own lives. They can mean the difference between staying in the house and going out and doing their own shopping.
It’s not only guide dogs that are considered to be an assistance dogs, although they are the most recognised. There are also hearing dogs who are specifically trained to aid those people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as service dogs for those who may suffer from such conditions such as autism, seizures, low blood sugar and some psychological conditions.
No matter what these dogs are trained for, We think that they all deserve the highest possible appreciation for the work that they do. These intelligent dogs are an essential lifeline for many people all around the world, and we can’t wait to celebrate this week in honor of the fantastic work that these animals perform.
Here at Dog School, we how intelligent dogs can be each and every day. They truly are man’s best friend and we wouldn’t have it any other way. If you have a dog and want to do a bit more for him or her, why not take a look at some of the agility or training courses that we provide? For more information on any of the services that we provide, don’t hesitate to contact our team today by calling 07734 447 812 and we will be more than happy to help you with your enquiry.