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Assistance Dogs: ANSI Seeks Comments on Proposed New ISO Field of Activity


Submit Input to ANSI by February 26, 2021

As the U.S. member body to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is seeking comments on a proposal for a new ISO technical committee to focus on assistance dogs. ANSI seeks input by February 26, 2021.

Assistance dogs, also known as service dogs in the U.S., are trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability. They can carry out a variety of practical tasks, thus mitigating limitations and improving the quality of life for people who depend on them. Examples of assistance dogs—an umbrella term—can include 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, and seizure assistance dogs. 

NEN (the Netherlands member of ISO) submitted the proposal, 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

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 and rescue dogs

Submit comments to Steven Cornish, ANSI senior director of international policy and strategy, at [email protected], by close of business on February 26, 2021. Based on input received from U.S. stakeholders, a recommended ANSI position and any comments will be developed and presented at the ANSI ISO Committee (AIC) for approval before ISO's voting deadline of April 8, 2021.

ANSI has published an explanatory information document outlining the process used to develop U.S. positions in issues and activities under consideration by ISO and IEC.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]