Home Apply for an Assistance Dog What are Assistance Dogs?


Assistance Dogs have become an integral part of many people’s lives — greatly increasing their mobility and overall quality of life. These specially trained dogs assist people by providing specific services which greatly enhance their freedom and independence.

At Blue Ridge Assistance Dogs (BRAD) we train dogs to help people with disabilities accomplish daily tasks that would otherwise be fatiguing or even impossible. These specially trained dogs can assist with a number of different activities – from picking things up to opening doors and even helping a person balance. By enhancing a person’s mobility and independence, service dogs quickly become valued partners.  Not only do our dogs provide a variety of life changing services but they also serve as emotional support and companionship.

Since these dogs help people in their daily lives, it’s common to see them in grocery stores, restaurants, malls, and other public venues. In most countries, disabled individuals with assistance dogs are guaranteed legal access to all public places, including stores, public transportation, and recreational locations. If you see an assistance dog in public (usually indicated by a vest, cape, backpack, or harness), remember – the assistance dog is working and should never be interrupted or disturbed.