International Association of
Assistance Dog Partners

Meet Different Kinds of
Assistance Dogs at Work

Assistance dog is the generic "umbrella" term for dogs trained to assist disabled people to lead a much more independent life.

Guide Dogs are trained to assist people who are blind or nearly blind to safely navigate their environment. Teamwork allows these assistance dog partners to avoid collision with obstacles in their path, to detect a sudden change in ground level such as a curb so they won't stumble and to increase their safety and self sufficiency in other respects as well.

Leader Dog team on the job at an industrial site.
Leader Dog graduate team at Montara Power Company

Hearing Dogs are trained to alert a deaf or hard of hearing individual to specific sounds that otherwise would go unnoticed. Such teamwork enables the assistance dog partner to respond promptly if, for example, the baby cries, the stove timer buzzes, the doorbell rings, a smoke alarm goes off or if an ambulance siren is warning drivers to get out of the way.

Red Acre Farms graduate team alerts with a paw.

Red Acre Farms graduate team alerts with a paw.

Service Dogs are adult dogs trained to assist people who have other kinds of disabilities such as a mobility impairment or a seizure disorder. By working cooperatively with a highly trained service dog, many of these assistance dog partners report they have been able to substantially increase their independence, safety and mobility.

Dakota opens the fridge using a special handle near the floor.
What? No handle on the fridge? That doesn't stop Dakota!


We are seeking good photos of assistance dogs "in action" for a rotating collection in " The Gallery."  Your signature on the member subscriber form will release your original photo to IAADP for our use. New member subscriber forms must be included with photo submission. (Sorry, we cannot accept copyrighted photos without written release of the photographer who holds the copyright.)

Hearing dog work is particularly difficult to capture in a snapshot. Please consider helping us educate other web site visitors if you have such a photo. Identify the skill, sound or task being demonstrated by the guide, hearing or service dog. Optional: indicate the names of the partner, the dog, and the training school (if any) for a "caption." Also enclose a SASE for return of the photo, if desired.

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