Service Dogs can do various activities for their owners to facilitate their performance in daily life.
The great advantages these dogs have in helping their owners in much more than giving them affection have long been understood. Currently, work is being done worldwide to train Service Dogs to help and care for people with different types of physical and mental disabilities. People even use a service dog for POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) and asthma, which is truly incredible. The excellent results that have been proven with the training of these dogs, which are much more than companion animals, make this training project for this type of pet much more valued every day.
Service dogs alongside therapy dogs have become an excellent option for those with disabilities as well as for those in need of emotional assistance. There are many people with different conditions that can be assisted by this type of trained dog. So let us tell you everything!
What is a service dog?
Service dogs are a great option for people with special needs. Service dogs are a type of assistance dog that is trained in order to assist people with different types of disabilities such as visual, motor, hearing, mental, and post-traumatic stress. Each of the animals is trained in a specific way to fulfill certain functions with the idea that these are adjusted to the needs of its owner.
Types of service dogs
Dogs trained to assist can do various activities for their owners to facilitate their performance in daily life
Service dogs are trained in a particular way depending on the needs of their owner and the type of assistance they require depending on the type of disability they have, in this way service dogs can be:
- Guide dogs: these dogs are those that are trained to assist blind or visually impaired people.
- Dogs for the hearing impaired: Training for these dogs includes the ability to alert their owner to sounds such as doorbells, telephones, alarms, and clocks.
- Dogs for people with reduced mobility: for this the dogs are trained to assist their owners in tasks that are difficult for them according to their disability, such as opening drawers and doors, picking up objects from the floor or high surfaces, and pushing wheelchairs. For those who have difficulty walking, the dog can provide stability with the use of a special harness.
- Medical Alert Dogs: These dogs can notify their owner if a chemical change occurs in their body that could be dangerous. Among the things they can detect are blood sugar levels for a person with diabetes or the imminence of a seizure for people with epilepsy.
- Psychiatric service dogs: they are trained to assist people with psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress. Among the assistance they are trained to give we find waking up their owner when he is having nightmares, something common to post-traumatic stress; serve as a lock between a patient with socializing problems and a person or group of them and alert its owner when he is taking actions that can potentially cause harm, typical for anxious patients who tend to hurt themselves.
What breeds are most common among service dogs?
Although Labradors and Golden Retrievers are the most common, any breed can be trained.
Many of the service dog trainers prefer to work with Labradors or Golden Retrievers, this is thanks to their high level of socialization added to their great intelligence; however, other dog breeds have been found to perform very well as service dogs. Most of the time they work with animals of considerable size to facilitate the tasks that they must perform on a daily basis, however, the breed of the dog is not a limitation since many small breeds have been successfully trained as service or assistance dogs around the world.
When looking for a service dog, we must focus on the characteristics that define it as a good assistant, which in this case would be a high intelligence and socialization capacity as well as a high tolerance to external stimuli and depending on the tasks to be carried out. You must consider the size and the smell among others, the trainers will be in charge of discussing these needs with the owners who want to train their pets.