Dogs are important members of the family. In some families, dogs have a crucial role in the lives of some members. These types of dogs are called service dogs. Individuals need them to assist with particular neurological, physical, or psychological needs. Thus, the aid of these dogs is vital. So, what exactly are service dogs? Are all breeds capable of being service dogs?
Service dogs significantly differ from other dogs because they are provided with specialized training to assist and perform essential tasks for clients that have impairments or disabilities. The task is mainly related to the person’s impairment. In a way, service dogs help their person, their owner, lead a better and more comfortable life.
Some countries and other establishments are also trying to cater to people who bring their service dogs. Fortunately, in some places, service dogs are granted full access that allow them to enter areas where other animals are usually not permitted, whether in public transportations or restaurants.
Additionally, all dog breeds can be service animals as long as they are individually trained to assist and complete a task for a person that has a disability. Their common characteristics are intelligence, desire to work, and calm demeanor. Dog breeds that are ideal for these services are Labradors, Pomeranians, Golden Retrievers, Jack Russel Terriers, German Shepherds, etc.
Just like how they differ in roles, service dogs, and the other types, they also significantly differ in care. The one thing that you should never forget is that you should not treat them as a pet. Do not pat them or carry them around because they do their duties as service dogs. If they become distracted, they can put the lives of their persons at risk.
It would be best to provide them meals that contain a balanced diet for primary care. Food like Black Hawk Dog Food has the proper nutrients your service dog will need. On the other hand, if you are around a service dog, avoid giving treats and directly touching them. Always ask for permission from their owner first. Most importantly, keep them away from other dogs.
Diabetic Alert Dogs
This service dog is trained to alert their partner when they detect an emergency with the chemical changes in their person’s blood sugar level. Hypoglycemia(low sugar) and Hyperglycemia(high sugar) are life-threatening conditions which can cause a person to pass out.
Before their partners reach such levels, these dogs alert them to test their blood sugar levels and do the appropriate actions afterward. There are also diabetic alert dogs trained to call emergency services whenever the situation calls for it.
Guide dogs are considered the most common type of service animal. They must guide people with visual impairment to navigate their surroundings. As part of their training, the dogs are practiced with selective disobedience. In these cases dogs are free to follow their assessment in certain situations.
For example, a guide dog can choose not to follow their person’s command to cross a busy street if they assess that it would be dangerous. Guide dogs usually wear special harnesses where their person can hold them.
Seizure Alert Dogs
This type of service assists their person before, during, and after a seizure episode. There are claims that most dogs can detect an oncoming seizure episode, but there are no reliable claims about it. Still, some people believe that it has something to do with the dog’s instinct and bond with their person.
Nonetheless, seizure alert dogs are service animals that you can rely on, especially during the seizure episode itself. It includes finding help or contacting 911, moving their person in an unsafe place, and helping their partner regain consciousness after an attack.
Allergy Detection Dogs
People who have allergies need to be extremely careful with allergens. Anaphylactic shock is a dangerous condition that results from a person having contact with an allergen. Allergy detection dogs are specially trained to detect various types of allergens. When they sense an allergen in an area, they immediately lead their partner away from that place.
These dogs often wear vests that have medical information about their partners. They can also have epinephrine with them, a drug used for emergency allergic reactions. These dogs are also paired frequently with kids as they’re likely to experience more severe reactions compared to adults.
Autism Support Dogs
Autism support dogs are also usually paired up with children to help them navigate the social settings. These dogs can help ease their person and help provide comfort in certain stressful situations.
The dogs also help their person make connections with other people, especially their classmates, to help them with confidence. Moreover, these dogs also have special training that helps keep their person away from any harmful behaviors by interrupting this disposition and alerting their parents.
With the help of service dogs, their persons are allowed to live more comfortably with a sense of independence. There are undoubtedly many service dogs out there and many dog breeds trained for various particular tasks. You will need to find which dog will suit your lifestyle.
Originally a dentist, Anna Strout has written for three years for pet and animal publications. Anna is also a historian who studies dog breed progression throughout the world, dabbles in animal law issues, and collects dog tales while traveling across the country with her husband and German Shepherd Dog, Luna. Anna kicks dust up dancing with Luna at home in Houston, Texas, where she teaches her obedience and tricks.