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International Assistance Dog Week

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Every dog may have his day but, during the dog days of summer, dogs who are devoted to enriching the lives of those in need of a helping paw are awarded an entire seven days of appreciation: International Assistance Dog Week.

The goals are to recognize and honor the hardworking assistance dogs; raise awareness and educate the public about how these specially trained animals are aiding so many people in our communities; honor the puppy raisers and trainers of assistance dogs; and recognize heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities.

When is International Assistance Dog Week?

International Assistance Dog Week starts the first Sunday of every August. In 2022, the pet awareness week is celebrated August 7-13, 2022.

The pet awareness week applauds the abilities of our four-legged friends who open up a world of possibilities for people who face both physical and mental challenges.

service dog in vest

When was this pet holiday founded?

International Assistance Dog Week was established in 2009 by Marcie Davis, founder of Working Like Dogs, host of an Internet radio program by the same name and author of Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook (which features a forward by the late animal-loving luminary Betty White).

What Roles Do These Dogs Play?

Through their roles as guide dogs for the visually impaired, service dogs, hearing alert dogs, seizure alert/response dogs and medical alert/response dogs, these service dogs perform a wide variety of roles.

Along with celebrating the skills of assistance dogs, the week is also an homage to all those who are dedicated to training canines for a future not only as a valued aide, but also as a trusted friend and family member to a person who is dealing with a disability.

Are all assistance dogs retrievers or are they other breeds as well?

Assistance Dogs can be from a variety of breeds including, but not limited to:

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Standard Poodles
  • shelter dogs

Where can I get more information about Assistance Dogs?

Visit International Assistance Dog Week and Working Like Dogs.

You can also check out Assistance Dogs International and the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners.

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International Assistance Dog Week