Articles for service dogs and the people who love them!

Service Dog Cookies

Cookie recipe: (for “spread” preventing, cut-out cookies, other dough/flavors may work) Dog Cookie Cutter: I bought an Ann Clark Cookie Cutters Labrador Dog Cookie Cutter, 4.4” $6.99 on Amazon Ingredients: 1 cup softened butter 1 cup sugar 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract … Read More

Service Dog Biscuit

To help celebrate Service Dog Awareness Month I wanted to share a Service Dog Biscuit recipe I developed! Dog Cookie Cutter: I bought an Ann Clark Cookie Cutters Labrador Dog Cookie Cutter, 4.4” $6.99 on Amazon Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1/2 cup all purpose four 1 Tbsp baking … Read More

The End

Losing a pet is always very emotional for the owner. There are feelings of sadness (denial and isolation), anger, and often times of self blame (bargaining), then there’s a feeling of loneliness (depression), and then finally, acceptance. Although these feelings are, at the core, basically the same for someone with … Read More

Animal Assisted Therapy

What is animal assisted therapy or more specifically canine assisted therapy is when a trained dog is deliberately involved in treatments or interventions to improve a person’s well being. In a mental health setting animal-assisted therapy is often used for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The benefits of using animals for … Read More

Awareness Month

64 million adults and children have a disability in the United States but there are only an estimated 500,000 service dogs out of a population of 339,996,563 people nationwide (that means approximately .15% of service dogs compared to people) and the need for service dogs is growing. There’s no way … Read More


Having an active playtime is extremely beneficial a dog’s physical health and well being, and believe it or not, even after a full days work, service dogs still have some energy left over to play! It also increases their mental stimulation, which is most important in the years before their … Read More


People with service dogs do everything and go everywhere with their dogs, yes, even the mini golf course at Hilltop Funcenter in Somersworth, NH! Just like you, they like to enjoy the same recreational activities as everyone else. When you see a service dog, even though they are cute and … Read More

Where are they from

Where do service dogs come from? The first dog, pictured above, Arvin, is what’s known as an “owner trained” dog. His handler, Aaron, bought and trained Arvin himself. Many service dogs are commonly raised and trained by an organization, or fostered as puppies and returned, but anyone can train a … Read More


You are not allowed to deny housing, in New Hampshire, to anybody with a disability that requires the use of a service dog or an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) unless these accommodations are completely unreasonable. If someone is trying to pass off a dog as a fake service dog, as … Read More

Fake Service Dogs (Part II)

I understand that managers might have trouble identifying a real service dog, but remember, if the dog is misbehaving, you have the right to ask them to leave so you do not really need to refuse them entry. I was recently talking to Heather Turner, a SCORE mentor, who has … Read More

Fake Service Dogs (Part I)

Some people try and pass off their regular, pet dog as a service dog so that they can bring them with everywhere, try to avoid pet fees at hotels, or have them in a ‘pet-free’ apartment. According to section 167-D:8 of Title XII in New Hampshire, it is a misdemeanor to … Read More

Eye Contact

Why is eye-contact such an important a trait in service dogs? It directly relates to whether or not the dog is going to pay attention to you. A dog is much more apt to follow your commands if you have their attention. A lot of communication occurs non-verbally through the … Read More

Outdoor Dining

During the summer, a lot of places have an outside seating area, this means there isn’t as much of an issue of being denied entry into the restaurant. Now, outside dining tends to be more casual than inside dining, but this doesn’t mean you can let the dog roam around. … Read More

Indoor Dining (Part II-for owners)

It is important for you to know, if you own a restaurant or are a manager at an establishment and are hesitant to grant a service dog access to your facility, these are highly trained dogs. You are not financially responsible for any damages the dog incurs, also, most insurances … Read More

Indoor Dining (Part I-for patrons)

Everyone likes to go out to eat, even people with service dogs and here’s a few tips. Before being seated, make sure the host or hostess knows that your party includes a service dog. Once, I was with a group of people and some of them went ahead of me … Read More

Public Access (part II)

Access cannot be limited to a service dog team, they are allowed to all areas used by other guests. They are allowed to use the self service food line (like a salad bar) and may not be prohibited from any communal food preparation areas. This does not mean they are … Read More

Public Access (part I)

You cannot deny entry to someone with a service dog. Sometimes, you may not be sure if a dog entering your business is a service dog or not. In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: 1.) … Read More


Remember, it’s hot out there! It is important to keep yourself hydrated but don’t forget your furry friend! Dogs usually drink 20 to 40 milliliters per pound a day, which translates to a 50 pound dog drinking four to eight cups of water a day! You want your water bowl … Read More

Independence Day

Every day is independence day with a service dog helping you! There are currently 500,000 service dogs in the U.S.A. (This is a rough estimation since there is no registration required, although you can register your service dog, if you choose to). Service dogs help thousands of people live healthy, … Read More


Japhy was a mobility-assistance service dog, one very important task that he had to do was retrieving items for Brendan. Since Brendan had a hard time with being completely mobile and balancing, especially while reaching for things, he would have Japhy take the item and give it to him! Japhy … Read More

Guide Dogs

Seeing-eye dogs are one type of service dog, but they don’t wear a vest. Usually they are outfitted with a harness so that they can lead their handler, navigating them around obstacles. Like all other service dogs, they are allowed access to anywhere the person would go, including restaurants and … Read More

Under Control

A service animal should be under control at all times, but this does not only mean that they need to be harnessed, leashed, or tethered while in public places at all times. Sometimes these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the person’s disability makes these devices difficult to … Read More


(picture July 12, 2015) Everyone enjoys going to a summer blockbuster and here’s some tips to enjoy the movie with your service dog! Before going to the theater, I recommend taking the dog on a long walk, letting them run around and playing with them, or whatever else you can … Read More

Sit Stays

Something important for service dogs to learn, actually important for all dogs, is the “Sit (or down), stay” command. This is where the dog lays down or goes into a sit position and stays there while you walk away about six to eight feet out of sight until you give … Read More


Genetics are very important to those who breed service dogs. While it is true that it is possible to purchase and train your own dog to become a service dog, the vast majority of these never go on to be fully functioning service dogs. Organizations, such as Canine Companions specifically … Read More

Tandem Training

Sometimes trainers will train the newer service dogs with the older dogs who have already been trained. The trainers have observed that it helps the dog who is being trained to see the task they are being asked to do performed ahead of time. They also do this with the … Read More


This is Calvin, a three year old Newfoundland autism service dog placed with a teenage boy named Morgan. Calvin is trained to interrupt Morgan’s pacing, helps keep him from eloping (wandering away from a caregiver), and can provide deep pressure therapy when Morgan is overstimulated.  This allows Morgan and his … Read More


This is Bones and his trainer Dimi as they get ready to meet the person he had been matched with. Bones is both a psychiatric and mobility assistance service dog trained by The Service Dog Connection, He can interrupt signs of anxiety, provide deep pressure therapy, open doors, push handicap buttons, … Read More


Just like anyone else, people with service dogs like to go out to eat and this blog is to help anyone who is a host or hostess. When you see someone with a service dog enter your establishment, here are a few recommendations on what to do. First, most, but … Read More

Deep Pressure Therapy

One very important task Nyssa does for Nick is what’s called “Deep Pressure Therapy” (DPT).  This is when the dog uses its warmth or even its body weight to ease anxiety or another psychiatric symptom (this can also lower blood pressure for those with that disorder). When Nyssa senses Nick … Read More


Did you know not all service dogs have to be trained at a facility? Meet Luna, a four year old service dog trained at Doggonit Training by Kelly Bourgeois. Luna goes into every store with Kaeden and all his doctors appts. She is also there to support him during medical … Read More


Training to be a service dog is very hard work, not only for the puppy raisers at the Northern New England Volunteer Chapter of Canine Companions, but for these two dogs, Whitt and Freeman III as well! Whitt is almost ready to be sent off to Medford, New York, on … Read More


This is Whitt, a one year and four month old black Labrador who will be trained as a service dog for Canine Companions. He is being fostered by Kelly Schwarze Goss and her family. She is the president of the Northern New England Volunteer Chapter but her husband, son, and … Read More

Arvin and Aaron

This is Aaron and his Psychiatric Service Dog, Arvin. I have talked about “owner trained” service dogs in the past and Aaron trained Arvin himself! Aaron served with the Marines in Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD. So, after coming home he got Arvin and trained him to help him deal … Read More


This is Basil, a three years old psychiatric service dog trained at Doggonit Training by Kelly Bourgeois for Alyssa LaFoe. Upkeep is very important and even though he is a fully trained service dog, she still needs to practice his tasks with him. Like humans, dogs can forget the skills … Read More

Teach Your Dog To Read With You

Did you know that to motivate children to read, they train service dogs to lay there and read with them? By hiding treats between the pages of the book, the dog learns to lay there quietly and listen to you read, focusing on the book! Now with these “Teach Your … Read More


This is Nyssa, a four year old English Labrador PTSD service dog trained at Hero Pups, a New Hampshire based organization that was founded by Laura Barker after her son was wounded in Afghanistan. Hero Pups provides veterans and first responders with service dogs and Nick is a retired fire-fighter … Read More

Service Dog Training

“Where can I apply for a service dog?” is one of the most common questions we get, and while we only provide financial assistance after you have your service dog, here are a few organizations that do place service dogs. Canine Companions in Santa Rosa CA (but with trainers and … Read More


NHCSSD Inspiration This is Japhy, a service dog trained to assist Brendan Madden, founder of the New Hampshire Coalition for the Support of Service Dogs. He received his training at the Paws With A Cause facility in Wayland Michigan but was flown out to him in New Hampshire in 2005. … Read More

Ash’s Outing

This is Ash, a service dog in training for Little Angels Service Dogs. Alyssa LaFoe is fostering and training her to do some basic tasks. Recently, she took Ash out to a McDonald’s, an arcade, and a kitchen store. Despite all the distractions, Ash performed all of her tasks very … Read More

Wallis VII

Meet Wallis VII, a four month old puppy training to be a service dog. She is being raised and trained by Helena and Tim Mahoney of Exeter NH volunteers for the Northern New England Volunteer Chapter. This was her first outing at Kittery Trading Post and it was training both … Read More

Marcy II

She is a puppy in training with Canine Companions. She was born on 11/29/2022 and arrived at Boston Logan Airport on January 25th to be raised by Ainsley Harrington. Marcy will be with the Harrington’s through May of 2024. Then, she will go off to Puppy College to learn more … Read More


Newest Puppy Jixi He’s the newest puppy in training for the Canine Companions Northern New England Volunteer Chapter. Did you know service dog training can start at eight weeks? He flew in from California into Logan airport on Friday to stay with Stacey Luoma and her family in Peterborough, New Hampshire and … Read More

Freeman III

March is National Puppy Month This is Freeman III and he is a future service dog in training. On February 27th of 2023 at 9:30 pm, he flew in at Hanscom Field in Massachusetts from Santa Rosa, California, where all Canine Companions puppies are born. At eight weeks old he … Read More