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Have you ever heard of dog breeds which help persons with disabilities and have specific needs? If not, the answer is service dogs.
Service dogs are much helpful for people having autism disorders, visual, hearing impairments, mental disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), seizures, ambulatory issues, mental illness, diabetes etc.
Emotional Support Dogs Vs Service Dogs
If a dog provides comfort to a person who is anxious, it is an emotional support dog. But if you train a dog to know the impacts of anxiety and take necessary actions to reduce it, it will be a service dog.
Other Service Dog Breeds
Apart from the above-mentioned breeds, other breeds can also be trained as service dogs:
- Saint Bernard
- Border Collie
Types Of Service Dogs
Service dogs are of different types. Each type helps people with different abilities. Let’s take a look of a few types of service dogs:
These dogs help the blind and people having visual impairments. Dog breeds: you can choose Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Lab and golden hybrid breeds as guide dogs. Poodles can also be trained as guide dogs.
These dogs provide assistance to the bind people by opening the doors of their house, helping them to cross the street and brings the things those people need at home.
These dogs alert the hearing-impaired people about the sounds such as alarms, doorbells, baby’s cry etc. They touch their owners and alert them about the sounds they hear.
Dog Breeds: Labradors and Golden Retrievers are common breeds to be trained as hearing dogs. But, you can also train other breeds such as Cocker Spaniels and Miniature Poodles.
Diabetic Alert Dogs
These dogs help the diabetic patients by alerting them about the blood sugar levels. They pick up the scent changes related to hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic events in diabetics and alert their owners. They are also trained to set off an alarm in case of medical help.
Dog breeds: You can train golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, mixed sporting dog breeds and poodles as diabetic alert dogs.
Seizure Alert Dogs
These dogs paw, lick, circle or act restless and alert the people having seizures.
Dog breeds: Labrador retriever is the most common seizure alert dog breed. You can also train golden retrievers, poodles, and Labradoodles
Seizure Response Dogs
These dogs bark or press an alarm when a person experiences seizure. They can also lead the person to go to a safe place during a seizure and gives medicine or phone to a person once the seizure ends.
Dog breeds: You can train Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and their crossbreds.
Mobility Assistance Dogs
These dogs help the people having muscular dystrophy, arthritis, spinal cord, and brain injuries by bringing objects to their owners, pressing buttons on automatic doors, pulling a wheelchair up a ramp etc.
Dog breeds: You can train Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Standard Poodles, German Shepherd Dogs, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs and so on as mobility assistance dogs.
Psychiatric Service Dogs
If a service dog helps a person having psychiatric impairment such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), then it is a psychiatric service dog. Here is the list of top 10 breeds for psychiatric service:
- Standard Poodle
- Labrador Retriever
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- German Shepherd
- Lhasa Apso
- Doberman Pinscher
- Border Collie
Autism Support Dogs
These dogs help the kids having autism spectrum disorders by keeping children from running away and tracking them during stressful situations. They reduce isolation, provide comfort and improves the child’s quality of life.
Dog breeds: Labrador Retriever, Great Pyrenees, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Labradoodle, Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundland, and Golden Retriever.
FASD Service Dogs
These dogs are helpful for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). These dogs are trained to stop the repetitive behavior.
Allergy Detection Dogs
These dogs give an alert about the smell which induces allergy. They sniff and alert about the odor of peanuts or gluten.
Poodle and Labradoodle are the two most common hypoallergenic dogs.
Service Dogs For Anxiety
People having anxiety issues generally have fear, feel difficult to work outside and have less social contact.
For these people, service dogs are bliss. Such dogs will:
- detect the symptoms of anxiety before it occurs
- provide water or medication during anxiety
- calm down the person by licking their face when anxiety occurs and
- prevent the distressed person from strangers
Service Dog Breeds For Anxiety
You can have the following breeds as service dogs for anxiety:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- Yorkshire Terrier
Service Dogs For Veterans
Service dogs are trained not only for the public with several disabilities but also for the honorable people who have disabilities and retired from the military.
The military veterans may be suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability(PSTD) or may have mobility problems. They will be provided with service canines by various service organizations, sometimes without any charges. The PTSD dogs work with veterans with PSTD and mobility challenges.
Normally, Doberman Pinschers, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, German Shepherds, and Collies work as service dogs for veterans.
Service Dog Laws
Do you know that you cannot take your service dog to all the places?
Several federal laws and guidelines have been framed for service dogs. Most cities in the United States insist that all dogs should have a license.
According to a law, you should not allow the service dog to walk in the passage between two seats in public places.
To get more information, you can refer to a few laws here:
Service Dog Registration
Registering a service dog is not legally required. But, get your service dog certified will allow you to be to clear about the places where you can take your service dog.
To get a license for your service dog, get a letter stating about your disability from you’re the appropriate medical practitioner. Also, get a certificate stating that your dog is in good health from your vet.
Having these two certificates, you can get the license for your dog from a proper licensing body.
After certification, your dog may be provided with identification such as a vest, an ID badge or a certificate.
Where To Register My Service Dog?
You can visit the below websites and register your dog.
- Official Service Dog Registry
- USA Service Dog Registration
- Service Dog Registration
- Register My Service Animal
Emotional Support Dog Registration
You cannot take your emotional support dogs everywhere. But, legal protections allow them in flights, etc.
You can refer the below websites for registering your service animal:
- ESA Registration
- ESA Doctors
How Can I Raise My Dog As A Service Dog?
You can raise your dog as a service dog by following the below steps:
1. Knowing the age and health of your dog
2. Conducting a personality test (i.e. whether he/she is aggressive or submissive) for your dog
3. Finding an apt trainer to train your dog
4. Providing time to train your dog
5. Testing the public access to your dog
6. Registering and Equipping
7. Finding someone who is in need
How Much Does A Service Dog Cost?
Service dogs are expensive. Organizations that provide training for service dogs itself charge around $50,000.