Service Dogs receive training to attend to various medical conditions and health needs such as epilepsy, diabetes, blindness, cancer, among others. For example, service dogs can alert their handler or owner to a seizure or provide support after the seizure to prevent further complications and obtain help. In managing diabetes, service dogs are able to detect changing blood glucose levels, to alert their owner and take necessary action. In the case of blindness, service dogs are trained to guide their owner to move independently and safely. The typical alert behaviors of a service dog are diverse, including barking, raising the paw, licking or sitting.
Benefits of a Service Dog
Protection, support and alert for medical conditions.
Obtain independence and increase sociability.
Tranquility, affection and company.
Service dogs can be a part of the life of an individual of almost any age.
What breeds are suitable for service dogs?
Dog breeds that do well to become service dogs include the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd, and Mountain Bernese.
These breeds are naturally noble, very sociable and affectionate in temperament. Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers tend to be playful and affectionate, being more 'socially acceptable' and less visually imposing than other breeds, making them a very popular breed for support.
However, in reality, any breed can be trained for service purposes, as it really depends on the qualities and personality of each individual dog, as well as its handler or owner.
What qualities or personalities must dogs have to become service dogs?
Calm and cheerful, friendly, self-assured, alert, emotionally stable, and independent. A dog without anxiety or fear.
How long does it take to train a service dog?
Depending on the needs of the owner and the characteristics of the dog, it can take from 6 to 18 months.