Service dogs are those kinds of dogs that are specifically trained to assist those who are living with physical or mental disabilities. Service dogs are used by many such people who help them with their daily lives and provide them with a source of unerring mental and physical support.
In other words, these dogs are much more than the loving companions that we know dogs to be. Service dogs can prove to be vital and practical companions to people with disabilities who need constant help and support. This includes any number of disabilities including physical, sensory or psychiatric.
In this article, we will discuss the different types of service dogs, along with the most common breeds as well as the most common services that these dogs provide people with disabilities.
Broadly speaking, there are three main categories of service dogs. Each type of service dog is specially trained for the services that it is meant to provide.
1. Assistance Dogs
There are types of service dogs that are trained to assist people with a wide range of physical or mental disabilities. This includes those suffering from autism, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, allergies, dementia or other physical illnesses.
2. Guide Dogs
Guide dogs, also known as seeing-eye dogs, are trained to assist blind or visually impaired people. With the help of guide dogs, such people can move around and fulfill their daily tasks independently and safely.
3. Hearing Dogs
As the name suggests, hearing dogs are those types of service dogs who are trained to help deaf people perform their daily tasks safely and independently. These dogs help their owners around and alert them to important sounds.
Not every breed of dog is equipped to be trained into a service dog. This is because there are certain attributes that are required for a service dog to be able to perform the job at hand.
The dog must have a desire to work, and be much happier getting some exercise than lazing around at home. Service dogs must also have a calm demeanor and not cause disturbances or disruptions unnecessarily. Further, the complexity of the job means that they must be quite intelligent and good at making quick and complex decisions.
Finally, a service dog must be both loving and friendly. They must be comfortable around other people, as well as able to form strong emotional bonds with their owners.
Given these desired attributes from service dogs, the most common breeds of dog that are up to task are those that fit this criteria. The following dog breeds are some of the most popular among service dogs.
For various kinds of disabilities, there are types of service dogs that are specially trained to assist the suffering individual. Each kind is trained to serve for a specific disability and offers unique characteristics that make it perfect for the job at hand. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Allergy Detection Dogs
These are types of service dogs that are trained to assist those with severe allergies to very specific things. These allergies include those to gluten, peanuts soy, shellfish and others. Due to their highly trained sense of smell, allergy detection dogs are able to sniff out whatever the owner is allergic to before they are likely to consume it.
2. Diabetic Alert Dogs
These are truly remarkable dogs that are trained to sniff out even the smallest change in a human’s blood sugar. A diabetic alert dog can determine whether its owner’s blood sugar is too high or too low and alert them before they have a diabetic attack.
3. Autism Service Dogs
These service dogs provide their owners with the physical and emotional support that they need. While adults with autism often benefit from autism service dogs, they are particularly ideal for children. Autism service dogs can help a child break the ice in social interactions and keep them from running away, harming themselves, or harming others.
These dogs often have vests with emergency and contact information.
4. Guide Dogs
Guide dogs are trained to assist people who are blind or visually impaired. They are the most common type of service dog that can be seen wearing a harness with a leash for the owner to hold. Large and intelligent dogs such as Labradors are ideal for this service as they can easily help their owners move around safely in public spaces
5. Hearing Dogs
These are also common types of service dogs that assist people who are deaf by helping them move around in public safely. Further, these dogs can alert their owner to important sounds such as oven-timers and even smoke alarms.
6. Mobility Assistance Dogs
This is another remarkable type of service dog that aids people who have mobility issues, which includes many different types of physical disabilities. This ranges from muscular dystrophy, to spinal cord and brain issues, along with arthritis and those in a wheelchair. Large, strong, and highly intelligent and socially aware dogs are perfect for this service as they can open doors, pull wheelchairs, and bring objects, among many other useful tasks.
7. Seizure Alert Dogs
Also known as seizure response dogs, these types of service dogs are specially trained to assist their owner when they undergo an epileptic seizure. If the owner has a seizure in an unsafe place these dogs are able to move them somewhere else. Further, they can stimulate their owner to wake up, and if that fails they can go ask for help.
8. Psychiatric Service Dogs
This is yet another remarkable variety of service dog that can assist a large range of disabled peoples. This includes those suffering from severe depression, anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Psychiatric Service dogs are trained to respond to changes in their owner’s body language and emotions, especially if they are about to have a panic attack.
These dogs can provide their owners with emotional and mental support which can be extremely beneficial to someone suffering from severe psychiatric problems.
Dogs truly make the most loving companions we humans could ask for. And it seems that for those who need the most support, they can go above and beyond the call of duty.
Service dogs come in many varieties and can only be bought by those who truly need them. For those people, they are extraordinary companions that help their owners lead a safe, healthy and happy life.
by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™ .
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