Service dogs are dogs that have been selected and trained specifically to aid people with special needs or disabilities. These wonderful dogs serve as a tool to help people with disabilities function on their own and feel more integrated in society. A service dog can be the eyes of a blind man or the steady anchor of an autistic child.
It is important to understand that service dogs should not be distracted when aiding their owners. If you spot a service dog, do not pet her or offer her any food treats. If the dog does not seem to be working, ask the owner if it would be alright to give it some attention. Services dogs love to get attention just like any other dog. They are extremely well socialized and many have been bred to be very tolerant and docile.
There are many different academies that train service dogs across the country. Most are located far away from cities as the trainers usually require large plots of land to conduct the various training that the dogs undergo. Some programs even allow for qualifying families to foster the dogs and participate in the training until the puppy grows up and is assigned to a permanent owner.