Service dogs in training got some "paws on" experience on Saturday at Harrisburg International Airport.
HIA hosted about 50-dogs from Susquehanna Service Dogs of Grantville. Once in the terminal, the dogs practiced loose-leash walking around travelers, as well as riding in elevators and walking the stairs.
The dogs and their handlers also explored multiple parts of the airport including shuttles, TSA security checkpoints and they even boarded a plane.
"The real life situation is whats best for the service dog in training. The real life situations where they're around real people and not simulations. It's really good for them to get on a plane. To see what its like, to see the other people interact because you never know what kid of people are going to walk up to you," said Shawn Gable, Manager of Marketing at Harrisburg International Airport.
Service dog trainers say when flying, it's important to avoid giving the dogs food and water before takeoff and to bring something to chew on, which keeps them occupied on a long flight.