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Overall, it’s hard to talk about just one type of service dog because they really do it all. Dogs are such highly intelligent creatures, and with the right training, they could have a much higher skill set and the ability to help people. There are all kinds: autism dogs, seizure/stroke dogs, PTSD dogs, guide dogs, and diabetic dogs. They’re all trained to perform a specific function or task. Undoubtedly, these dogs are amazing and are helping the general public every single day, performing tasks for them that they could simply never do themselves.
Types of Service Dogs
- Seizure Assistance Dogs
Seizure dogs are specifically trained to be alert to when their owner is about to have a seizure. Dogs have this “6th sense”, and because of some chemical change in a human’s homeostatic environment, dogs can sense when their owner is about to have a seizure. Obviously, these dogs are most commonly used for those who have epilepsy or are just prone to seizures. If their owner does end up falling or seizing, the dog is to put themselves between their owner and the floor in order to divert the blow, and keep the human from getting anymore physical damages.
2. Mobility Assistance Dogs
With their owners in wheelchairs or if they are not easily mobile, mobile assistance dogs have to learn to become a second set of hands, basically. The duty is to not only provide them support if they do walk or have trouble walking, but they can also do every day tasks for them as well. It’s simple things like ring a doorbell, press elevator buttons, or even just hand money to a cashier at the register. They can also retrieve things for them like the mail or the newspaper, or whatever else they may need. Overall, these dogs are trained to be helpful and to always have their owner’s best interest at heart.
3. Hearing Dogs
Hearing dogs are obviously used for those who are deaf or hearing impaired. Those with hearing troubles or are deaf, have troubles doing every day things like, hearing car horns, or sirens, or even someone talking to them. This is where the dog steps in. The dog is a second set of ears for the dog and they will tell their human when to go and when not to go. They’re trained to hearing cars honking, and sirens, and take them as signals that the way is not clear or is dangerous.
4. Guide Dogs
These dogs take charge of a different sense- the vision. They are the eyes for their human, if their human is visually impaired or blind. Often, the human can give dogs a set of directions to do, and they will do it, but only when the situation is safe. The dog will make sure that they don’t run into people or walk out into traffic by accident. Overall, guide dogs, or seeing eye dogs, are remarkable because they know how to keep their human safe and are trained to be their human’s eyes.
5. Allergy Dogs
A lot of people have allergies, but not everyone has life-threatening ones. These life threatening allergies are obviously scary and it could happen even when we think it’s not possible. Allergy dogs are trained to know that their humans have an allergy, and let them know that they should stay away from specific items if they contain whatever food they cannot consume. All they have to do is pick up or recognize the scent, and they will let their human know right away to stay away from said food item.
6. PTSD or Mental Health Dogs
PTSD dogs are critical to today’s society. Someone can have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and it can be triggered from war, from a car accident, sexual or physical assault, or just anything traumatic. The service dogs help to calm their human if anything triggers a panic attack. This is also true for mental health dogs. These dogs can also help remind their human to do something like take their medicine, by doing the same gesture over and over to signal a certain meaning. Overall, these dogs help lower blood pressure, help their human from becoming too crowded, and give their owner companionship that they wouldn’t have otherwise.
7. Diabetic Dogs
Diabetes is a disease where your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, therefore, it could lead to fatigue, nausea, yeast infections, or have their blood sugar fall low or their body temperature become very low.