Anyone with a visual, hearing, motor or mental disability can accommodate an assistance dog. When can an assistance dog be useful? What breeds can be service dogs? What is the difference between a guide dog? Our answers.
The dog, man’s best friend? This animal in any case is able to help people who are not completely independent. The service dog then plays an important role in daily tasks. He is also a moral support of the first importance.
What is an assistance dog?
A service dog is an animal trained to accompany and assist people with disabilities. It can be physical, mental, or even psychological. Depending on the profile of its future master, the dog can perform different actions. Among them, we can mention:
- alert those around the person, by barking to announce a problem
- taking back or giving something, at home or in stores
- helping to pull a wheelchair and moving next to it without interfering with its progress
- open or close the door, etc.
The assistance dog adapts to different environments, including areas with a lot of access or a limited room for maneuvering. So he is familiar with environments that are often stressful for other pets, such as public transportation.
When can an assistance dog be useful?
Anyone with a visual, hearing, motor or mental disability can accommodate an assistance dog. In fact, the usefulness of an assistance dog is revealed in many situations. As mentioned above, his education led him to perform tasks for different disability profiles.
So it helps deaf or hard of hearing people to warn them of a danger or a fact. For example, a phone call or the arrival of a car.
Assistance dogs can be trained to help people with epilepsy. In particular, it can detect the occurrence of a crisis on the river and warn its master. If necessary, he can press the alert button.
Dogs are also trained for people with autism, those with multiple disabilities or trisomy 21. It also works for the elderly with a loss of autonomy.
Assistance dog: what breeds are available?
The service dog must be patient, have a good ability to learn and be very social. Trainers favor calm dogs, which are not necessarily strong. It should be sensitive to movements or sound signals. Some of the top service dog breeds include:
We can also mention the royal poodle, as well as the Australian shepherd.
What is the difference between a guide dog and an assistance dog?
A guide dog and an assistance dog share the same quality of education and learning. However, there are some differences. A guide dog for the blind is specially trained to accompany people who are visually impaired or blind. It helps when traveling indoors and/or outdoors, especially when shopping or taking public transportation.
Assistance dog is a more general term, because it includes different types of training. It can help people with reduced mobility, those with epileptic seizures, the elderly, children with autism or suffering from other mental disorders. We also talk about assistance dogs for deaf (or hard of hearing) people. Also included in the designation are the so-called “social support” dogs for the reception of special establishments. For example, an institute for disabled adults or an establishment dedicated to dependent elderly people, even those with a loss of autonomy.