Most dogs we know have the potential to be useful to the society. Service dogs are dogs who are trained to perform certain tasks other than police work. They are trained to assist and help people with disabilities, such as blind people, mental patients, invalids, or persons suffering trauma. Find out what they do and the more interesting things about them!
Laika the dog became one of the first animals and the first living creature to orbit the earth. A stray dog, she was picked up from the streets of Moscow and was then trained to be launched into outer space (November 3, 1957) as part of the Soviet space program.
Non-profit organization Canine Assistants says that it spends around $24,500 on training plus lifetime care for each dog. In addition to the expenses, training the dog also takes months. Volunteers train these dogs to perform various tasks that would prepare them to cope with possibly stressful situations. Trainings range from retrieving things for patients who cannot walk any longer to taking public transportation.
Service dogs are not considered pets. They have real work to do that ranges from guiding a blind man to cross the street or comforting a victim suffering a post-traumatic stress disorder. Service dogs are rather seen as an extension to the disabled individual.
Of course, in order that service dogs perform their duties well, they must be taken care of. Like a lot of dogs, they get sick or get injured, so they need regular care. Taking care of service dogs may be a big commitment, but this commitment is compensated by the disabled people who benefit from the care of trained service dogs.
Service dogs can accompany people at any public places without a vest on, except on a few special occasions. But they should be on a leash at all times, unless it becomes uncomfortable to them or hinders them from performing their tasks.
Any breed can have a potential to be a service dog, but retrievers were born for the role. Apart from their docile behavior, retrievers are especially suited to the role as service dogs because of, as their name implies, their knack for retrieving things.