Types of Service Dogs
Service Dogs are some of the most versatile and hardworking pups around.
But exactly how many types of Service Dogs are there?
Dogs, along with miniature horses, are the only animals permitted by the United States government to accompany their human in public; even where dogs are not usually allowed. We all know about Guide Dogs and how they help their handlers navigate their everyday lives, but what about all those other Service Dogs we see?
What all can a Service Dog do?
Most of the time we see a dog working and aren’t aware of what service they are performing. Don’t you wish you could ask? It’s awe inspiring to see a dog at work, especially because most of the time they are performing an extremely critical task and yet doing it with no regard for recognition. They do it quietly and calmly, simply as another part of their day.
Mobility Assistance Dogs
When it comes to Mobility Assistance dogs, the possibilities are numerous. A dog can help someone up and down stairs; he can help them balance when walking; help them out of a chair; help them open and close doors, drawers, cabinets. The dog can even fetch their owner water, clothes, medication and other useful items. Mobility Assistance Dogs can be trained to assist their owners in everyday activities like shopping too. The dog can carry grocery/shopping bags to and from the car, he can throw away garbage, retrieve dropped items, and even help his owner pay for things by handing a credit card to the cashier with his mouth.
Medical Alert Dogs
Another type of Service Dog, usually referred to as Medical Alert Dogs, are trained to alert their handler to dangerous physiological changes. Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to detect when their handler’s blood sugar is rising or falling. These dogs learn to alert to early changes so the handler can act quickly and take action before their blood sugar reaches too high or falls too low.
Other Medical Alert Dogs can tell their handler’s that a migraine is approaching. These dogs are trained to detect symptoms of the prodrome phase of a migraine which signals changes within the owner’s central nervous system. These dogs help their owner recognize symptoms far before the actual migraine has set in, allowing their owner to take necessary steps toward mitigating the pain.
Medical Response Dogs
Finally, there are Medical Response Dogs. Unlike Medical Alert Dogs, Medical Response Dogs are trained to respond to a medical emergency; they are not trained to tell their owner that it is going to happen. The most common type of Medical Response Dog is a Seizure Response Dog. Seizure Response Dogs can retrieve medication, bark to alert nearby people that help is needed, or even fetch the help of nearby humans. Many Medical Response Dogs are also equipped with other tasks such as retrieving items for their handlers or providing mobility assistance.