Most people are familiar with the roles of guide dogs (aka Seeing Eye dogs) and Hearing Dogs. However, there are many other types of assistance dogs out there, including medical alert dogs, psychiatric service dogs, therapy dogs, mobility assistance dogs and autism assistance dogs.

All types are essential to their handlers and are much more than clever pets. Therefore it is important that you do not approach an assistance dog who is working or in training, as to do so may distract the dog. This will, at best, be an inconvenience and, at worst, could put the handler in real danger.

Unfortunately at the present time, there are no charities registered with Assistance Dogs UK that train psychiatric service dogs. This is a real shame as these dogs can have a significant and positive impact on the lives of people with mental health problems, problems which are equally as debilitating as any physical impairment. For now, therapy dogs and untrained pets fill the gap. Read more here

One last thing- under the Equality Act 2010, it is against the law in the UK to refuse entry to a public place to someone with a registered Assistance Dog.

Hope you’ve learnt something new today! Remember to visit again tomorrow as there will be another guest post to look forward to.

Picture from The Guardian