Girl In Iu Hoosiers Shirt With Dog

Dogs on Duty: The Truth Behind a Working Dog.

There are very few things in this world that are better than dogs. To most people, they are more than just pets, they’re family. However, to some people, dogs are essential in aiding them through everyday activities. 

To find out more about the life of a service dog I sat down with my long time friend, and sophomore at Illinois State, Hailey Plantz, who knows just about everything there is to know about dogs! Hailey is on the exec team for Indy-Pendence Service Dogs, an RSO here at ISU that helps train rescue dogs to become service dogs. She has taken on the task of co-fostering and training one of the dogs, Captain, a one-year-old puppy for the school year. 

Golden lab smiling

Q: In what ways do service dogs help people? What tasks can they do?

Hailey: Service dogs can help different types of people in so many ways. There are various types of mobility work they can do for people who are disabled like retrieve dropped items, open doors, guide them while walking, turn lights off and on, and act as a medical alert.


Q: What advice do you have for people who see service dogs in public?

Hailey: Great question! My biggest advice would be to pretend like they’re not there. Do not distract the dog or their handler, this can become a safety concern for both of them. Although the dogs are cute and friendly keep in mind that they are there to work and assist people who need it!


Q: How much training does it take before a dog is certified as a service dog? 

Hailey: It typically takes about 2 years for them to become fully trained and ready to be given to their handlers. 


Q: What’s the difference between a service dog and an emotional support dog?  

Hailey: Service dogs are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and have all public access rights. Emotional support dogs are entitled to have access to housing and most areas that often don’t allow animals, but aren’t allowed in all public places.


Q: What is your favorite part about being able to train future service dogs?

Hailey: My favorite part would probably be the satisfaction of watching the dogs learn skills, grow and eventually be placed with the right person.


Q: Is it hard raising a dog that you know you will eventually have to give up to someone else? 

Hailey: It’s definitely not easy because you get attached to them, but you have to go in with the mindset that you’re not doing it just to have a dog, but to train them to help someone who really needs them. 

Anna Schultz-Girls Laughing Hanging Out With Puppy And ComputerIt can be hard to mind your manners around their cute furry faces and wagging tails, but if you see a dog on duty remember to be mindful of the work they’re doing, and respect their owner and space!