For centuries, humans have relied on animals to help them overcome rather difficult tasks. This brought about all the different dog breeds we know today. One of the tasks that some dogs are given is as service dog. These pups undergo a special dog training and are placed in the appropriate settings.
What is a Service Dog?
A service dog is a dog that has undergone a special kind of training to help assist a person with special needs. They are assistance dogs aid people with disabilities such as mobility impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments and diabetes.
It is important to make a distinction between these dogs and therapy dogs. These dogs, unlike service dogs, do not undergo any type of special training and offer assistance only by making company to a person with emotional issues or the like.
Types of Service Dogs
There are three types of this dogs:
- Guide dog: they help the visually and hearing impaired move around;
- Hearing dog: they alert deaf o hearing impaired about important sounds
- Service dog: these ones assist people with other disabilities other than hearing or vision
The process of service dog training is a rather long one. These dogs must excel in obeying specific commands in order for them to be evaluated by the Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test.
Not all dogs can undergo service dog training. There are actually some skills that a trainable dog must have, the first one being that it should be trainable. This rules out certain breeds that prove to be not easy to train.
The main characteristics of a potential service dog are:
- Alert but not reactive
- Not aloof of anyone, including strangers
- Calm but friendly
- Quick learner and especially good at retaining information
- Willingness to please
- Highly social in a diversity of environments
There is no question that a properly trained dog will help a person with a disability lead a more independent life. In Dogalize we have resources and information in case you need to contact a service dog trainer. Visit us and take a look at everything else we have for you.