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Types of Service Dogs and Their Jobs

Guide Dog

When we think of service dogs, we may think about guide dogs who help the visually impaired navigate the world. While they are one of the most common and popular types of service dogs, there are actually many different types of service dogs. Let us have a look what guide dogs and the other service dogs do to help us.

Guide Dogs

Most of us are familiar with guide dogs; while we may not have seen them much, we all know that their tasks are to help visually impaired people move around obstacles in their environment and avoid any danger.

Large breeds such as Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are often trained as guide dogs, however, smaller breeds such as Poodles can be good guide dogs too.

Hearing Dogs

It is evident that service dogs could help people with disabilities tremendously. Their helpfulness is not just limited to helping the visually impaired, people with hearing impairment benefit from the service of hearing dogs too.

Hearing dogs will alert their owners to important sounds and noises, such as doorbells, alarms, and even crying babies.

Mobility Assistance Dogs

People who suffer from accidents or injuries such as brain and spinal cord injuries may face mobility issues. The duty of mobility assistance dogs is to help these people on a wide range of daily tasks. These tasks include bringing objects to people, opening a door, and pressing an elevator button or a doorbell. Some large breed mobility assistance dogs can even help pulling their owner’s wheelchair up a ramp.

Mobility Assistance Dog
A mobility assistance dog can be very helpful to those in need
Psychiatric Service Dogs

Psychiatric service dogs are quite unique where they help people suffer from different types of psychological or mental disabilities such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, as well as conditions that may trigger self-harm.

The dog performs tasks as simple as turning on the lights of a dark room to reduce stress-inducing situations but can also be extremely important and possibly lifesaving by preventing self-harming behaviours.

Watch how a psychiatric service dog helps during an anxiety attack
Credit: Couple_of_mals
Medical Alert Dogs

People with certain medical conditions benefit from the assistance of medical alert dogs. These service dogs are specially trained to detect the onset of certain medical conditions such as a seizure or low blood sugar. They can also help their owners detect allergens such as peanuts. Medical alert dogs are responsible for alerting their owners if they have detected something, or alert others if their owner is having a medical condition and requires help.

Dogs truly are human’s best friends. Not only do they provide us companionship, they also help those among us who are less fortunate. Their services in law enforcement and even in the battlefield are also extremely valuable.

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