Service Dog – Active Task
A service dog is a well behaved, non-aggressive dog trained specifically to mitigate a disability. A service dog must be “task trained”, which means that the dog is an active participant in mitigating a disability of its effects. For example, a dog can be specifically trained to alert a person when their blood sugar is high or low and then stabilize their handler physically or behaviorally. Another example includes a child or adult with autism has a tendency to run and the dog can be trained to physically prevent them from running by perhaps laying down across their lap to reduce their cortisol or ward off a meltdown. The dog could also be trained to track their owner. The key is that the dog performs a trained task as communicated by their owner through verbal commands or hand signals or they do the task automatically.
Service dogs undergo one to two years of training in order to perform the tasks and to ensure adequate public access exposure so that they’re non-reactive to their surroundings and can be in any venue. Aggression of any type is unacceptable.
The dog should be between 3-6 feet of the handler and needs to be able to move independently in case they need to retrieve an item or open a door. They should does not need to be restrained on a leash and should not be approached or pet by anyone other than their handler while the dog is working and wearing a vest.
The rights of a trained service dog are protected by the ADA provided they are with their trainer.
Psychiatric Service Dog
A psychiatric service dog is a specific type of service dog who mitigates the effects of a psychiatric disability. These dogs are “task trained” and are active participants. Typical tasks include guiding a distraught owner during a panic attack to a safe location, applying deep pressure by laying across the owner’s lap or blocking other people from approaching the owner. No aggression or excessive vocalization should be permitted, except as required to mitigate the owners disability.
Physical and mobility assistance dogs are by very definition larger dogs who can brace or even lift a person who may have physical limitations including handlers with MS, CP, CRPS, vertigo and many other conditions. These dogs may provide physical balance and support, which if distracted by a well-meaning bystander can cause the dog to... continue reading.
Medical alert dogs range from dogs who can detect diabetic ups and downs in blood sugar, severe hypoglycemia, seizures, ticks and other physical and neurological incidents. Each dog should be trained for the individual needs of the recipient, which can take 12-18 months. Medical alert dogs may sometimes appear to be sleeping or resting, but... continue reading.
You have probably spotted autism service dogs while out and about. Sometimes you may see a dog tethered or attached by a leash or other device to a child. It may look cute to see a young child with his/her dog, but very often these dogs are keeping a child from running off into danger... continue reading.
Hearing dogs typically alert their handlers that there is a sound, such as a telephone ring or siren. They also alert to other potential danger and keeps the handler from being harmed or surprised. Hearing dogs are typically on the larger side so that they can get the attention of their handler and successfully alert... continue reading.
Guide dogs for the blind are usually with handler wearing sunglasses or using cane. They wear a harness and focus on the surroundings in order to help their owner navigate the world. This dog may not appear to be working, but is always searching and following the commands of the handler. Guide dogs must be large... continue reading.
All service dogs are not created equal; the difference between service and therapy dogs, or any other kind of dog, is what it’s trained for. Although to most people, service dogs are those cute furry friends who come visit us in the hospital when we are sick, a service dog is not at all the... continue reading.