Five Facts About Service Dogs
What’s cuter than a dog all dressed up? It’s super fun to put a costume on a dog, especially during Halloween. Some dogs, however, put on worker vests not because it makes them look cute, but because it’s their job.
Dogs are more helpful to people than just as companions. Dogs are employed all the time to become service animals. Service animals are defined by The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
Here are 5 facts about service dogs to help you get an insight into just how spectacular they really are.
- Service dogs are different than pets
While service dogs certainly require care and breaks, they do have a job to do. House dogs get to run and play all day, but dogs trained to do a specific job are dedicated to their work. They are seen as extension of the person with a disability.
- Golden retrievers make the best service dogs
Any dog could be a service dog, but golden retrievers were specially bred for it. They love to use their mouths, and they tend to be better able to read social situations than other breeds. Pit bulls, in fact have been banned as service dogs in dog state.
- Service dogs love their job
As humans, we come home from work and take off the work hat. Service dogs live for their occupation. They are in 100%. Although they are usually allowed to play and take breaks, service dogs have been known to return to their work all on their own. Having a purpose gives them a sense of satisfaction they can’t get from playing.
- Training requires dedication
Even training house pets can be tricky. Service dogs require special training, which takes time, money, and dedication. Often, disabled people will receive service dogs through charitable donations and fundraiser.
Preparation for service can start when the puppy is only two days old, so that good habits may be formed very young. Training takes months and even years to complete. The dog must learn to cope with potentially stressful situations.
Service dogs are often placed with foster family for a trial period before going to their forever home.
- Service dogs can do pretty amazing things
The list of all the incredible feats dogs can perform goes on and on. Service dogs for people with mobility issues can turn on lights, push buttons on an elevator, pull their partner in a manual wheelchair, open doors, and even retrieve a wallet and offer it to the cashier.
Service dogs for the deaf can distinguish the difference between the doorbell, the alarm, and someone calling the patient’s name.
Dogs have such a keen sense of smell that some are trained to detect cancer, a change in blood pressure, or an impending seizure.
That’s pretty amazing!
Next time you see a dog all dressed up in a work uniform, be respectful. While they may look absolutely adorable all dressed up, they have an important duty to perform!