Service dogs are dogs that have been trained to carry out a variety of tasks to make life easier for persons with a disability or persons who are suffering from a condition so that they are able to carry out their daily activities like everyone else.
Among other things, service dogs can be trained to:
- alert a person with hearing difficulties when there is a knock on the door or an important noise which requires human intervention such as a smoke alarm or a baby crying – these dogs are called Hearing Dogs;
- pick up objects from the floor or open drawers and doors for someone who is in a wheelchair – these dogs are called Wheelchair Assistance Dogs;
- give persons on the autistic spectrum support and provide them with confidence and a sense of independence – these dogs are called Autism Assistance Dogs;
- alert a diabetic person when their blood sugar level is reaching dangerously high or low levels – these dogs are called Diabetic Alert Dogs;
- alert a person who is prone to seizures that an episode is imminent so that the person can lie down or take other precautions such as stop driving- these dogs are called Seizure Alert Dogs; and
- provide comfort and a sense of peace and security for people with mental health conditions – these dogs are called Therapy Dogs.
There are as many types of service dogs as there are conditions which can be eased by training a dog to perform a task!