Service dogs are dogs that are certified to assist people with disabilities and those with handicapping conditions. A service dog is usually a Labrador Retriever or a German Shepherd, trained to give comfort, support and affection to individuals. These dogs are found most often in facilities like hospitals, retirement centers, nursing homes, schools, airports, shelters, or disaster zones. As their name suggests, they provide assistance to their owners by enabling them to perform tasks that may be physically or mentally challenging for them. In this article we will try to define and describe what a service dog is, how he can benefit you and your loved ones, and what are some examples of dogs that can serve as service dogs.
Service Dogs Serve Many Important Functions
One thing that should be made clear is that not all service dogs are used by the blind or deaf. These dogs are trained to perform certain tasks such as assisting with wheelchairs, carrying medical equipment, handling sick or injured individuals, assisting at times of need, and more. It is important that therapy dogs have some form of working knowledge so that they can help their clients in various ways. The most common service dogs are the guide dogs for the blind and deaf or the service dogs for the physically disabled.
As you may know, service dogs are working animals that are allowed to assist humans because of their excellent skills in identifying potential problems or dangers, locating lost people or animals, and picking them up. Service animals are considered to be true companions and best friends to their humans because they can perform tasks that would put their own lives at risk. They do not just offer support to the sick and physically disabled, but they also work in search of lost children, lost elderly people, run down pets, wild animals that are in danger, and search for lost persons. They perform these tasks not only out of their natural, instinctive, or emotional instincts but because it is always their human owners’ main goal to make sure that the patients are okay, and that the pets are in good hands.
The Need Is Greater Than The Number Of Dogs Available
The need for disability and autism assistance dogs far exceeds the number of working dogs. Due to a variety of different reasons, as many as 25% of those applying for disability status will be awarded funding based on the level of service the applicant can provide to their fellow human beings. There is currently a great need for these specialized animals in many areas. For instance, there are many working blind and deaf individuals in search of assistance to detect potential hazards in their homes. In addition, there are also many aging and injured individuals who require assistance with daily living activities, such as bathing, eating, drinking, and dressing.
Training is essential for both the handler and the pet. Because training is time consuming and costly, many service dogs will be kept by their handlers under close surveillance. This serves to protect the public from dangerous situations where the animal could harm another individual, but it also serves to protect the dog and the handler. When a service dog acts inappropriately, it can be grounds for prosecution. That’s one reason service dogs are not puppies but adult dogs.
As Americans age, they are covered under Social Security regulations for disabilities, but they do receive benefits through their insurance carriers for certain services they receive from their service dogs. Many service dogs, both therapy dogs and disability assistants, do not get paid anything by the government. They are truly an invaluable asset to society.