Assistance Dogs | Standards Michigan

Assistance Dogs

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” ― Mark Twain


Assistance Dogs

February 22, 2021

Statue of Roman sight-hounds

The Nederlands Normalisatie-instituut, the ISO member body for The Netherlands, has submitted to ISO a proposal for a new field of ISO technical activity on Assistance Dogs, with the following scope statement:

Standardization in the field of assistance dogs focused on, but not limited to;

· terminology
· health and welfare
· breeding and puppy development
· training
· client services
· assistance dog professionals
· conformity assessment, and
· accessibility

Assistance dogs are specifically trained to perform tasks to increase independence and to mitigate limitations of a person with a disability.  Excluded are:

· dogs that offer only emotional support and/or comfort (i.e. emotional support dogs)
· dog assisted interventions such as facility dogs or dog assisted therapy
· other kinds of working dogs such as herding dogs, police dogs, search & rescue dogs

Background information: An assistance dog is permanently paired with a person with a disability to perform on a one-to-one basis tasks to mitigate the limitations of this person.  Please note that ‘assistance dog’ is the umbrella term. Examples of assistance dogs (in alphabetical order) are autism assistance dogs, developmental disorder assistance dogs, diabetes assistance dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs, medical alert/response assistance dogs, mobility assistance dogs, PTSD assistance dogs, seizure assistance dogs.  In some countries, an assistance dog is referred to as a service dog.

University of New Hampshire

Anyone in the United States wishing to review the proposal can request a copy by contacting ANSI’s ISO Team (, with a submission of comments to Steve Cornish ( by close of business on Friday, February 26, 2021.

We maintain all ISO titles on the standing agenda of our Global colloquia; open to everyone.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting.

Source: ANSI Standards Action Page 50

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