Service dog is a dog that helps and guides people who are physically disabled; this includes people with hearing disability, mental sickness, paralysis and visual impairment. Dogs like these are trained for this purpose; Labradors, German shepherd, Golden retriever are the preferred breed of dogs that are used as service dog. There are different dogs for different disabilities; for blind there are dogs that are especially trained “seeing eye dogs” and for those who are deaf there are dogs specially trained to hear the traffic, door bell ringing and footsteps of someone approaching.
There are various types of service dogs like the following:
- Guide dogs- These dogs help in leading the way; in crossing streets, in passing through dpprs and in using elevators and escalators.
- Hearing ear dogs- Such dogs help in alerting their owners of various sounds like the telephone, smoke, alarms, crying of the baby, door bells, knock of the door, sirens, timers etc.
- Mobility dogs- These dogs help in assisting people who cannot move around, those who have problems like paralysis and sclerosis. Some of them even know how to open and close drawers, wash and dry clothes and also help in shopping for home items.
- Seizure alert dogs- These dogs are trained to sense some kind of a change before the seizure. This gives the owner time to prepare for such a situation.
- Parkinson’s helper’s dogs- In this disease a person’s feet freeze so they are unable to stand or move; in such a case these dogs help the person move by moving hand on the feet.
- Emotional support dogs- The support that they give their owner inspires their owners to improve and get well soon.
Tasks performed by these dogs
These dogs are properly trained to do specific tasks that a disabled person can’t do like:
- Help in balancing them on the stairs.
- Assistance in standing and sitting.
- Giving medicines.
- Reminding the disabled person to have medicine.
- Getting water so that they can take the medicine.
- Waking up and acting as an alarm to the disabled one.
- They stay alert in the case if there is a smoke alarm.
- Ringing up the emergency number in case of need.
Service dogs are well trained to perform these tasks so that they prove to be helpful to their disabled owner. It takes about a year or two for training these dogs. Service dogs prove to be an emotional support and strength to the ones who have lost hope in life and are living in despair. Such dogs indeed act as a best friend to their owner as they are always there for them whenever need. A lot of care and patience is involved in training a dog because it is this dog that is going to take care of the safety and security of the owner. A service dog has to be gentle, well mannered and reliable, then only he provides emotional support to the owner.