OK, so dogs might just be the fluffiest and friendliest animals on the planet, but they also serve both an incredible and extremely important purpose to people with disabilities around the world.
More than just a pretty face, it’s important for people to resist the urge to play with these intelligent creatures; they offer much more than a cutesy cuddle and a walk in the park. Service dogs offer people with disabilities a world of independence. From helping with mobility, offering companionship, and guiding blind and partially sighted people, service dogs essential in society.
There’s probably a lot you don’t know about them either, which is why we’ve compiled a list of 3 things you should learn about these wise and wonderful creatures:
1) They Undergo A Program to Decipher Who They Will Match With Best
When applying for a service dog, it’s extremely important that once they are fully trained up, they are placed with the right person.
For example, when it comes to matching a blind or visually impaired person with the correct guide dog, a great deal of thought and meticulous planning goes into every step of the process.
Each person undergoes an interview and screening process whereby they detail their exact needs and are then paired with a canine who suits their own personal requirements.
There are different types of service dogs too, ranging from seizure assistant dogs to hearing dogs. Making sure that each animal can attend to a specific person’s mobility, lifestyle, personality, and physical needs is imperative for a successful match.
2) There Are Different Breeds of Service Dogs
Service dog breeds are chosen primarily for their temperament and ability to be trained meticulously.
Breeds such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds are often the main breeds that service animal facilities opt for, with them offering willing and gentle temperaments, a history of good health, and a great size range.
Sometimes crosses of these breeds are used too, with canines such as Labradoodles, and Golden Retriever/Labrador types proving quite popular. The most popular breed for any service dog, however, is the Labrador Retriever.
Just because these breeds are calm and cuddly, however, does not mean that you should interfere and interrupt their work.
3) They Positively Impact the Health And Wellbeing Of Their Owner
Not only do these animals provide a service for the people who need them the most, but they improve both the physical and mental health of their owners.
Service dogs have the ability to provide their owners with confidence, security, and good old companionship, which has been shown to reduce:
The reduced stress that comes with owning a service dog has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Not only do they provide relief and reduce stress, but the independence these animals give their owners also makes it easier for them to get around, resulting in much more exercise, especially from a guide dog perspective.
When it comes down to it, service dogs make the best of friends for the people who need them. As both a loyal companion and a working animal, service dogs make the lives of thousands of people across the world that much easier. From positively impacting the mental and physical health of their owners, to providing people with more independence and a sense of freedom, these dogs and the people who train them are a credit to themselves.
Hopefully you’re more educated on the life and work of a service dog and why these dogs are beneficial to the community in more ways than one!