You may have come across a dog helping someone who is either visually impared, mentally unstable or suffering from a condition that requires total dependence on other persons. The service dog is one that has been trained to carry out such functions which would ordinarily be carried out buy by another person.
The service dog falls under the ADA or the Americans with Disability Act and has to meet some specifications, one of which is the training. The training mainly dwells on the functions of the dog. For instance, the dog would require knowing how to deal with an autistic child as the latter will have some special needs and no other animal like the ESA can offer such a service.
The service dog has to be leashed in most cases so that the disabled person only needs to hold it by the leash or tether to aid in movements. Not all these animals are tethered however. You will find that the nature of the disability will impact on the presence or absence of the leash.
Types of service dog
When it comes to the service dog, we need to appreciate the fact that they come in different types. The guide dog for instance functions just like the term implies; it helps the disabled in their way to supermarket, an alley, crossing the road and so on. People who are blind will for instance find the guide dogs to be handy in such situations.
Hearing dogs are part of the service dog fraternity. They are very useful in helping persons who have hearing impairment. If there is hooting or an announcement made, the dog will react and alert the person so that they can take the appropriate actions.
Mobility dogs are just as the name implies. They are for helping people with walking problems get by from one point to the other. They walk side by side and will help such persons cross a busy highway, walk down a steep slope, get in and outside a hall or get into the car.
Alert /secure or generally, response dogs are quite handy in some situations. For instance, imagine that you are in a building and it catches fire. The response dog will smell the smoke from far and alert you for quick evacuating. If there is an incoming danger, it will use is sharp sense to bark and warn you so that you can escape from danger. Some patients suffer from debilitating seizures and it is therefore the function of such a dog to seek the medical services as fast as possible. If the patient falls down, the dog will seek assistance to help the person get up and also get help from the paramedics.
Psychiatric services dogs fall in this group as well and their function generally is to help patients who are suffering from some serious mental problems like depression, anxiety, phobic attack and so on.
The ESA are outside this classification but would still be considered as a type of service to disable persons.
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