Dogs are already crowned since ages past as man’s best friend, but service dogs, in particular, take that label to a whole new level.
As the name suggests, service dogs assist with the unique needs of people.
They make life easier.
And although dogs as they are, are already great and fun to be with, we might wonder, “can my dog be a service dog?” Well, yes, your dog can be a service dog. But there are things you need to consider first.
This article hopes to give light to whether any breed of dog can qualify as a service dog.
Moreover, we also hope to provide a breakdown of the service dog qualifications.
What Is A Service Dog?
We have already provided the gist of what service dogs do in the above paragraphs.
They are simply like any other dogs specifically trained in aiding humans in their specific area of need.
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) focuses on the definition of service dogs in helping people with disabilities.
These dogs have undergone training specific for each respective disability they will provide services.
What Traits Must Service Dogs Have?
There are generally two critical criteria to identify if Fido is fit to become a service dog.
The requirements are age and temperament.
For the age bit, it is essential that your dog has been through the puppy stage, fully weaned, and no less than six months old.
It is because any younger would mean dependence on their parents and which can be challenging to train.
While older is better, dogs that are too old with existing ailments like arthritis or diabetes are discouraged from being service dogs.
Indeed, adding more responsibilities to the pain they are facing would be unwise.
Male dogs must be neutered, too, to decrease their aggression.
In comparison, females must be spayed to rid themselves of estrous periods.
For the temperament aspect, service dogs should be in the fine line that separates aggressive and submissive.
Ideally, they should have the following traits:
- Averagely social
Generally, breeds like Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds fit the description.
What Are the Types of Service Dogs?
There are no Jack-of-all-trades service dogs. Instead, each one is trained for a specific service they will assist on.
Here are the most common types of service dogs:
1. Guide dogs
They serve as the eyes of blind or visually impaired individuals.
And guide them through their leash.
2. Hearing dogs
They serve as the hearing guide of people with hearing disabilities.
With every alarm, knock on the door, or important sound, they notify their owners by interacting with them.
3. Mobility Assistance dogs
This kind helps their owners get around by picking things up for them or retrieving particular objects.
People will physical mobility problems benefit the most from this service.
4. Psychiatric service dogs
This kind of service dog helps people afflicted with mental health problems like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
They provide much-needed comfort, peace, and personal space from the people surrounding their owners.
5. Diabetic Alert Dogs
Patients going through diabetes will benefit from DADs or Diabetes Alert Dogs as these kinds are trained to identify changes in the blood sugar level.
It can be difficult for humans without equipment, but dogs can detect such discrepancies.
They can remind owners to lay off that bottle of coke or to take their meds.
Can Any Dog Be A Service Dog?
The answer here is yes. Dogs can be service dogs.
As mentioned above, certain breeds are natural service dogs like Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds, but in reality, any pooch is a potential service dog.
Although the dog breed can give insight into breed-specific behavior and temperament, it is not the sole factor influencing a dog’s qualification.
However, it would be great to look out for these behaviors.
Each dog, from the big ones to the miniature ones have their strengths.
And these elements will influence which category they would fit into, or if they can even be service dogs, to begin with.
The point is any dog can become a service dog.
With the right amount of time and effort, along with training.
Your dog can be a service dog too. And you will reap the benefits of the services they provide.
Service Dog List of Qualifications
According to the ADA or the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are no paper requirements to make your pet dog a service dog.
It means they do not discriminate on the breed of the puppy or care about dogs’ bureaucratic details to enter the service.
However, your dog must undergo various training to be classified as one.
The paperwork only enters when you request a service dog for yourself.
The people in charge will identify your area of deficiency and eligibility to receive a service dog under your wing.
However, this process can take a long period before an answer is given.
It is the reason why they are suggesting that you train your dogs, yourself.
Or hire a specialist that can teach it for you.
Your dogs can be service dogs if you put in the effort and time to train them.
Moreover, this will also strengthen your bond with them as you go through the training together.
Service dogs are essential elements in society, especially in aiding the aged and the people with disabilities.
If your dog trains to be a service dog, it does not mean that you will end up giving your beloved dog up.
It can just be your service dog or for someone in your family.
All it takes is some patience, time, effort, and training. And they will be set to provide services to
people and make life easier.