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Susquehanna Service Dogs Service Dogs

Service Dog on Bus

Service dogs can be trained to assist children and adults with a wide range of disabilities. Each dog is specially trained to assist with the specific needs of their partner. However, all of our dogs are trained in basic behaviors and service dog tasks, which may include:

  • Performing basic obedience skills (sit, stay, come, down, stand, heel (on the left side), place (on the right side), back, etc.) A service dog can be taught to respond to voice cues, hand signals, or augmentative speech devices. They must respond to cues on and off the lead.
  • Retrieving objects (dropped items, objects under chairs, drinks from the refrigerator, clothes in the dryer, etc.)
  • Opening and closing regular and counterbalanced doors. The dog pushes the door, pulls on a tether or pulls a removable door hook.
  • Walking in a controlled manner next to their partner
  • Doing balance work for people who need assistance walking. The dog wears a special harness and acts as a counterbalance as the person moves. The dog can also assist with going up and down stairs.
  • Pulling a manual wheelchair, including up inclines
  • Turning regular light switches on and off
  • Pushing buttons, such as the buttons for automatic doors
  • Finding and retrieving a cordless phone
  • Purchasing items in stores
  • Going under tables or counters and being “invisible” in restaurants
  • Refraining from picking up or eating food items dropped on the floor
  • Alerting for help for their partners at work or at home
  • Providing light or deep pressure
  • Locating the child they are partnered with
  • Responding to seizures
  • Interrupting repetitive behaviors
Susquehanna Service Dogs - Keystone Human Services logo
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Assistance Dogs International

Susquehanna Service Dogs is a fully accredited member of Assistance Dogs International.

Animal Assisted Intervention International logo - Full Member 2017

Susquehanna Service Dogs is a full member of Animal Assisted Intervention International.


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