Have you ever been amazed at the intelligence of our fellow service dogs you see around town or in your everyday life? Helping their owners cross the road, even fetching things for them? Here are some helpful facts to help you know if your pooch has got what it takes!
Types of service dog
Here are just 10 of many service dog types out there:
1. Guide dogs (for visually impaired or blind people)
2. Hearing dogs (for people with hearing impairments)
3. Mobility assistance dogs (for people with mobility issues)
4. Diabetic alert dogs (alerting to chemical changes in their handler’s blood sugar)
5. Seizure alert dogs (react with a specific type of behaviour right before the owner has a seizure)
6. Seizure response dogs (provide help to a person experiencing an epileptic seizure)
7. Psychiatric service dogs (for people suffering from depression, anxiety, or PTSD)
8. Autism support dogs (for children with autism)
9. FASD service dogs (support children who were exposed to alcohol prenatally)
10. Allergy detection dogs (for people with allergies - alert to the odour of things such as peanuts or gluten)
Any dog breed can be a perfect service dog! From Labradors, Huskies, German Shepherds etc. Any type of dog is suitable to become a fine service dog! The job can depend on the size. A larger dog would usually be more necessary for assistance like mobility whereas smaller dogs are great for medical alert services or emotional support.
For a service dog to be effective, they must be intelligent, and intuitive. He/she should have a calm, cool and collected personality but it is also important for the dog to be alert and responsive. An aggressive and easily scared dog is less suitable for the job. A DNA test is also a great way to know the behavioural patterns of the dog if you aren't sure what type of breed your dog is.
Of course, a service dog has to be well trained. The first step to becoming a service dog is to get these basic obedience commands cracked! For example:
Service dogs must also have good manners in public and not display a behaviour that takes the focus off of their handler. Meaning, no jumping, begging for food, sniffing or barking! Which of course are common things that dogs seem to display in their everyday life. Training your dog will take up a lot of time and patience.
We can't deny that service dogs are quite impressive. This heartwarming video just shows how much these amazing dogs can completely change lives for the better.
Have you got any stories about yourself or of someone that you know who has a service dog? We would love to read them in the comments below!