Celebrate International Assistance Dog Week, August 6-12, 2023, with these great books and facts. 

What is an Assistance Dog?

An Assistance Dog or Service Dog helps someone with a disability complete essential tasks to increase independence and improve their quality of life. These dogs perform various tasks, including but not limited to opening doors, picking up objects, guiding an individual with visual impairments, pulling a wheelchair, and even alerting when a person’s blood sugar is at an unsafe level or when a seizure is about to occur

Service Animal Etiquette 

  • Approach the handler/owner, never the dog.
  • Ask permission before you touch or go near a service animal.
  • Always remember that the animal is working and performing an important task that should not be interrupted or distracted. A service animal is still working even if it appears that it is sleeping.
  • Keep your dog or pet away from a service animal.
  • Never offer food to a service animal.
  • An unattended service animal can be a sign that its owner needs help.

Service Dogs by Linda Tagliaferro 

Discusses the breed, selection, and training of service dogs.

Madeline Finn hopes Star can become a therapy dog. But first he needs to pass his test. They have been practicing all the skills he needs to master. They practice meeting people. They practice sitting still when a bike goes by. They even practice meeting other dogs. Now Madeline Finn and Star are off to Walker Oaks, a retirement community where Star will take his tests. They face a variety of challenges and meet several new friends. But Madeline Finn can’t stop thinking about an elderly man in a wheelchair who never smiles. Is there something she and Star can do to help Mr. Humphrey?

Service Dogs by Jessica Rudolph

Beginning readers will learn all about these dedicated canines that take on different jobs to assist people with disabilities or illnesses.

Service Dog Heroes by Linda Bozzo

Learn about a true story of a service dog, the history of service dogs, and the training methods used to transform an ordinary dog into canine heroes.

Therapy Dogs by Joyce Markovics 

In this book, young readers will learn about therapy dogs.

It was Supposed to be Sunny by Samantha Cotterill

Laila’s birthday party, perfectly planned with her autism in mind, goes awry due to a change in weather and an accident with her cake, but with the help of her mom and her service dog, Laila knows she can handle this.

Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes

When he is paired with a girl who has lost her legs, Rescue worries that he isn’t up to the task of being her service dog.

Helpers by Claudia Martin

Describes animals that help people who are blind or deaf or who have physical handicaps.

Based on the New York Times bestseller, UNTIL TUESDAY, this full-color picture book filled with adorable photographs tells the story of the amazing service dog who helps former U.S. Army Captain Luis Carlos Montalván overcome his combat-related wounds.

Tells how a golden retriever is trained as a service dog to help someone who has trouble moving their arms or legs and later as a guide dog for a man who cannot see.

Bear by Ben Queen

Bear is a service dog who would do anything for his owner and best friend, Patrick, who is blind. But when Bear suddenly loses his vision, he worries he’s lost his purpose in life–protecting Patrick! Following the misguided advice from some self-serving raccoons, Bear embarks on a transformative journey to regain his eyesight. Out of both necessity and survival, he learns to tap into his other senses and begins to see the world from a new perspective that is, at times, more rich and colorful than the world he’s always known.

Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari

A student who uses a wheelchair finds a way to see her dog each day in school.

Cooper’s Story  by  W. Bruce Cameron

Cooper, a malamute-Great Dane puppy, finds purpose as a service dog and emotional support animal to fifth-grader Burke, a boy in a wheelchair.

Buster by Caleb Zane Huett

Buster’s a therapy dog who needs to take matters into his own paws to help a boy understand his own anxiety . . . even if it means breaking a few rules. Buster’s in big trouble. He’s been dragged to Dog Court for breaking one of the most sacred of all dog rules: Never, ever talk to a human, or let a human know how smart you really are. But he swears he had a good reason! The boy he’s been taking care of, Tonio, needed his help in a big way. You see, Tonio is afraid all the time – afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, afraid of making a fool of himself, or (even worse) hurting someone else’s feelings. His doctor thinks having a therapy dog will help his anxiety – and Buster wants to help. He really wants to help even if it means breaking the rules.

Therapy Cats, Dogs, and Rabbits by Jenny Fretland VanVoorst

Look inside to learn all about therapy animals, including how these amazing rabbits, cats, and dogs are trained, how they help people feel better–and can even help children learn to read!

R.E.A.D. Dogs by Meish Goldish

In this book, readers will learn about dogs in the R.E.A.D. program.