Do Service Dogs Get to Play?

One the most frequently asked questions we get about service dogs is does he ever get a chance to play? What a rough life. It’s not like that.

We understand. When you see a service dog in pubic it may look like they are not having any fun. The service dog is taught not to walk up to people and beg for attention, he has learned not to sniff or beg for food and he has even learned to resist the temptation not to bark at other dogs walking down the street.

In short, he has learned that his job is to pay close attention to his handler. His handler’s life depends on this training.

But did you know, that a service dog’s life a grand life! Most service dogs get to sleep in their owner’s bed, they get to be on the couch and they get lots of down time to just be another dog. He plays, he chases balls, he woofs, he runs after squirrels. He is just a dog.

Most handlers teach their dog a very important rule. If he has on his vest it is time to work.

Think of it this way: Do you get to play all day or do you have to go to a job or school? Does your job have a uniform, a suit and tie, special shoes or maybe even a tool belt?

Photo credit: Eric Skousen and his service dog Thorr