Learn About The Different Types Of Service Dogs
Many people are surprised to learn there are over a dozen different specializations for Service Dogs. There are Diabetic Alert Dogs, Severe Allergy Alert dogs, Visual Assistance Dogs, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, Wheelchair Assistance Dogs, Psychiatric Service Dogs, Brace/Mobility Support Dogs, Medical Alert Dogs, Seizure Assistance Dogs and more. What are all of these types of Service Dogs — and what do they do? When it comes to different types of Service Dogs, there’s one thing that’s clear: the base definition of a Service Dog. According to the ADA, a Service Animal is any dog which is specifically trained to perform tasks for a disabled individual that they would otherwise have difficulty completing on their own. All of the titles, distinguishing categories and types of Service Dogs have no bearing under federal law — a Service Dog is a Service Dog is a Service Dog. However, the various types of Service Dogs make breaking down the dogs’ functions, jobs and tasks a little easier and can make a trainer’s life less stressful. For example, a Service Dog trainer may have a ton of experience training Diabetic Alert Dogs, but may not be qualified to train and place Visual Assistance or Guide Dogs. Some Service Dogs perform two or more functions for their disabled handler so you might hear someone say, “Oh, she’s a brace/mobility support dog and a seizure assistance dog.” There isn’t a clear way to classify all types of Service Dogs, nor is classification particularly important. The dog’s type, function, title or classification is usually left up to the dog’s handler. Finally, there’s no universally accepted list of types of Service Dogs. Here’s a brief overview of several common types of Service Dogs: [alert style=”white”] Service Dog: Severe Continue reading >>
Diabetes Alert Dogs: Everything You Need To Know
Note: This article has been reviewed by Dr. Dana Hardin MD, and Dr. Jennifer Cattet Ph.D. Many individuals with type 1 diabetes spend their days worrying about the possibility of having a low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia). Aside from frequent testing of blood glucose levels (self monitoring of blood glucose, SMBG), they may experience uncomfortable signs of hypoglycemia such as sweating, shaking, or confusion. These early symptoms of hypoglycemia are helpful, even though uncomfortable, because they help the person with diabetes know it is time to check their glucose level. Once the person checks and learns they are hypoglycemic, they are taught what food or drink to take to raise their blood sugar. If the low blood sugar is not treated in time, persistent hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, blackouts, or even coma. Unfortunately, over time (generally after 5 or so years) a person with 1 diabetes no longer feels symptoms when his/her blood glucose is low. This condition is known as Hypoglycemia Unawareness. When hypoglycemia unawareness develops, the person is at much greater risk for the development of persistent hyperglycemia and all of the dangerous problems listed above. Patients have reported feeling ok and not knowing they had low blood sugar until they wake up on the floor, or they have had a seizure. Some don’t realize what happened until they are taken to the hospital. If you are one of these individuals, you probably worry about your next hypoglycemia episode on a daily basis. You would likely feel much better if you were aware of something or someone which could help you monitor and alert your oncoming low blood sugar drop. Well, good news! A diabetes alert dog (DAD) can help you become aware of hypoglycemia even if you don’t feel any different. To give Continue reading >>
Choosing A Dog
Training a Service Dog is a lot of work and a big committment. Choosing an appropriate dog is the most important step. Be Patient. Temperament Don't be tempted to "save" a dog that has behavior or health problems, especially a history of abuse or neglect. If you are serious about training a service dog, this is not the time to rescue a dog with problems. Important temperament traits to look at: Confident vs. Timid -- the dog should show a casual interest in new experiences, other dogs, and new people. It should have confidence around unfamiliar objects or people, children, other dogs, startling sounds; tolerate handling of all parts of its body; and have the capacity to handle environmental change. Work Ethic -- Eagerness to learn, a desire to work cooperatively vs independently, persistence in learning. Secure vs. Insecure -- Service dogs must be able to tolerate stressful situations; they should be easy going and resilient. Calm vs. Frenetic -- "over the top" energy is difficult to control and train through. Gentle vs. Rough People-Centered vs. Environment-Centered -- Service dogs should have a high level of affiliation and attachment towards humans; and sensitivity to the handler without mirroring the handler's moods. Attentive vs. Distracted -- The dog should mostly be paying attention to you, not what is going on everywhere else. Dependent vs. Independent -- A service dog looks to its handler for direction. Needy vs. Aloof -- Is the dog always looking away from you? Not interested? Breed Characteristics Some dogs show very strong breed characteristics, and it can be difficult or impossible to change them. Consider what a dog was bred to do -- Herd sheep? Kill rats? Track game with their noses? Pull sleds? How does that relate to what you want to train the dog to do Continue reading >>
We Train Diabetes Assist Dogs To Help People With Type I Diabetes.
Diabetes Assist Dogs are trained to monitor smells in the air for a specific scent on the human breath that is related to rapidly dropping or low blood sugar levels. They are then trained to “alert” the person with diabetes, usually by touching them in a significant way such as pawing or nudging them. This alerts the person to check his or her blood sugar level. It also informs them that they should get something to eat to prevent hypoglycemia, or their blood sugars getting to a dangerous level. The canine partner can also be trained to retrieve juice or glucose tabs, get an emergency phone, or get help from another person in the house. Diabetes Assist Dogs wear a backpack identifying them as an assistance dog. This backpack has pockets where medical information, a sugar source, and emergency contact information can be stored. This provides an extra safety net in case the person with diabetes is unable to get help in time. Anyone finding the person unconscious or acting abnormally would know it may be a medical emergency and know how to get help. How can a dog detect low blood sugar? The dogs are evaluated throughout “puppy-hood” for a willingness to work and a sensitive nose. Once we have identified their interest in smells, they begin scent training. A person experiencing hypoglycemia produces a particular scent, found on the breath, due to chemical changes in their body. All people produce the same scent when they have low blood sugar. Our training methods are similar to those used to train drug sniffing or search and rescue dogs trained to find people. Due to the generosity of supporters like you all of our assistance dogs are provided to clients free of charge. LEARN MORE AND APPLY FOR A DIABETES ASSIST DOG Continue reading >>
A Step-by-step Guide To Becoming A Service Dog
A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Service Dog Dog lovers know the benefitsof a canine companion are too numerous to mention. On top of this, some dogs provide professionalservice to folks who need it.Thanks to the ADAs ruling in 1990, these service dogs are more than pets. Whichdogs are most suitable to be service dogs, and howdo they get certified?Weve got a step-by-step guide for getting adog service-ready. For more info, check out this well-reviewed guide to training your own service dog . (Pro tip:itscurrentlyfreeon Kindle Unlimited.) The short answer: any breed! That said, German shepherds, golden retrievers,Labrador retrievers, and border collies are common for a variety of services because of trainability and typical personality.A larger dog may benecessary for physical assistancelike mobility, but medical alert servicesor emotional support canbe performed by a smaller breed . Not sure of your dogs breed makeup? Dog DNA tests can provide valuable insight into your dogs breed-related instincts. The Wisdom Panel test is an affordable option thatreceives high marks for accuracy. Overall, your dogs temperament and health are most important. That leads us to step one. Step 1. Assessing Age and Health for Service Dogs An inaugural visit to the vet (with regular checkups) is important: health conditions like arthritis and diabetes put an undue strain on the best of pets, so adding service animal responsibilities is unwise. All service dogs should also be neutered so that males are less aggressive and females dont face working when in heat. Dogs should be at least 6 months old and past the puppy phase, too. Some dogs are aggressive while others are submissive,and in many cases thisisnt good or bad its not that simple.The right temperament for a service animal is a very Continue reading >>
What Are Diabetic Alert Dogs (dads)?
Diabetic Alert Dogs — affectionately known as DADs — are service dogs that are trained specifically to assist diabetics. Their primary task as service dogs is to alert diabetics of an oncoming hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic event (low or high blood sugar!) DADs are able to do this by reacting to particular smells that are emitted from the human body due to chemical shifts caused by either hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia (undetected by a human nose). There are various ways that the dog can alert their human of a low or high blood sugar, which all depends on how it is trained. These skills require rigorous training from professional service dog trainers. In addition to being on alert for blood sugar malfunctions, Diabetic Alert Dogs are known to provide a tremendous amount of love and emotional support to its owner, resulting in an increased sense of security and balance in the daily life of someone with Type 1. How can I find my own DAD? Getting a Diabetic Alert Dog of your very own is a process. The first step is to find a legitimate, accredited organization made up of trainers that will assist you in both the acquiring and the training of your new DAD. Alternatively, there are Diabetic Alert Dog Training schools that will assist in the training and development of the dog of your own choosing. After being matched with the right dog for you, you may be asked to provide a “scent collection kit” so that your dog can learn your body chemistry during its training. Home visits are scheduled in order to begin the bonding process. Organizations & Resources How long do I have to wait for my dog? The average wait time for your DAD to be ready to come home with you for good is approximately six months to a year. What is the cost? The exact cost will depend on the particular o Continue reading >>
Landlords: Can A Pit Bull Be A Service Dog?
This iframe contains the logic required to handle AJAX powered Gravity Forms. Ready to find your nearest Real Property Manager? Click here! The REAL Deal - Advice, tips and trends for property owners Landlords: Can a Pit Bull Be a Service Dog? Attention Landlords: You make the callRenters with service animals on a restrictive or aggressive breed list, is it allowed? Allowing pets in a rental property is often a debatable topic among rental property owners. Determining if you want to allow pets, what type of pets to allow, and what to charge for pet fees are just a few questions that may arise. But what happens when you choose not to allow pets and an applicant has a service animal? What if that service animal is considered an aggressive breed or on a restrictive breed list for your community? Do You Have to Rent to Someone Who Has a Pit Bull As a Service Dog? According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Fair Housing Act prot ects those with disabilities in need of service animalsand/or emotional support animals. Because of this federal law, an animal considered to be an aggressive breed, such as a Pit Bull, is protected and must be allowed into a rental property if it is determined to be a service animal, despite any local laws that prohibit the breed. Fair housing laws can be a bit tricky in this regard. If a disability is not obvious, a landlord cannot ask what the disability is, but can ask for documentation that there is a disability with a need for a service or emotional support animal.If the animal is strictly a pet, the landlord has every right to deny any animal or breed of animal. My 21 year old son was murdered last year Aug 31st 2015 .I needed to find an apt temporarily while my other son finished high school. Max left me with his d Continue reading >>
See What Our Students Are Saying…
Daisy started training at 3 months old! Daisy has been in the diabetic alert training for 7 weeks now. She is only 7 months old. Last night at 2 in the morning I woke up to an excited pup in my face. She got her two front paws up on the bed and started bumping me on the leg, I didn’t pay much attention to her at that point. After awhile she decided I wasn’t going to wake up and she proceeded to bump me on the side of the face. Sure enough I got up, checked my blood sugar and was down to 62. I thought Daisy did a great job and went to reward her with some treats when I noticed she had opened the fridge by tugging on my belt I attached to the door handle! My juice wasn’t in a small bottle where she could have grabbed it but she tried her best. I’m so impressed with what only 7 classes has done for me and Daisy! Malla is a dog that is breaking the stereotype of the Pit Bull Terrier Malla and I have been attending Service Dog Academy in Seattle, WA, for 5 weeks of training. I’m a “brittle” diabetic… Sat, June 18th, Malla saved my life… Between 9 AM and 10 AM, Malla woke me, as she had been taught in our diabetic alert training. As I was attempting to wake up, I realized Malla was alerting me to a low blood sugar. I also realized I was home alone, and I could not walk. With Malla’s help I crawled to the refrigerator and got a regular Coke. As I regained some mobility I was able to run another blood sugar and this time it was 43. If it had not been for Malla’s training, the tenacity of her breed, and her love and devotion to me; I reallly don’t think I would be here today. Our first diabetic alert dog student had this to say about her dog Lily is alerting me regularly and has begun to do so on the bus, at bus stops and other out door locations… I jus Continue reading >>
Woman Unknowingly Adopts Pit Bull Who Detects Seizures
Woman Unknowingly Adopts Pit Bull Who Detects Seizures Danielle Zukerman didn't plan on getting a seizure alert dog when she adopted Thor, but she got one anyway. Thor is much more than a companion for his owner. He also detects her seizures. Via CBS13 Sacramento Dogs really are our best friends and can perform a variety of tasks. Some of these tasksare life changing, as is the case with service dogs who help their owners manage their disabilities. Danielle Zukerman suffers from regular seizures due to a spinal cord injury,but shedidnt plan on getting a so-called seizure alert dog when she adopted Thor, a Pit Bull, CBS13 Sacramento reports . To her surprise, she got one anyway. Afew days after he arrived at his new home, Thor jumped into Zuckermans lap and started to bark frantically.At first, the Grass Valley, California, residentwas confused and thought there was something wrong with the dog. But about 10 to 15 minutes later, she hada seizure,CBS13 reports. Danielle Zuckerman is grateful for her new furry friends natural ability to detect her seizures. Via CBS13 Sacramento. As it turns out, Thors reaction wasnt a fluke. In two months, he let his owner know eight times that she was going to have a seizure soon, according to CBS13. The warnings allow Zukerman enough time to take anew medication that cuts the length of her seizure from five minutes to 90 seconds, CBS13 adds. Thor reportedly wasnt trained as a service animal either; he just naturally started to warn his new owner.Zuckermans doctor speculates that Thors picking up on Zukermanshormonal changes before the attack hits, CBS13 reports. Dont worry, Mom. Ill keep an eye on you! Via Platinum/YouTube For her part, Zuckerman said she isthrilled with her new furryfriend and feels much more comfortable going out now Continue reading >>
This Dog Is A Service Animal. He Is Also A Pit Bull.
This Dog Is A Service Animal. He Is Also A Pit Bull. "All dogs are individuals. We need to look at each dog as an individual." Matthew Smith has used a wheelchair for 20 years, ever since he suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident when he was 22 years old. Life drastically changed for him just over two years ago, however, when he got aservice dog named Jericho. Jericho accompanies him everywhere, and reduces the anxiety he experiences in public places. "Originally I pictured him just being a mobility dog -- as far as helping me move the wheelchair and picking stuff up," Smith told The Huffington Post. "I never could have imagined what an emotional help he would be." Using a wheelchair "takes a big hit on your self image," the Maryland resident explained. "I found that Jericho takes a lot of that anxiety away from me. When I go into a store, I don't feel like they're looking at me, I feel like they're looking at Jericho." The benefitsJericho adds to Smith's life are in line with what an estimated 200,000 service dogs provide to people all over the country. Jericho is somewhat of anomaly, however, in that he's a pit bull. While all kinds of larger dogs can be trained to assist people, the most typical are German shepherds, golden retrievers and labradors . Breed shouldn't matter, but areas with breed specific legislation can pose obstacles for dogs that are stigmatized based on the way they look. Jericho, a pitbull-looking dog, wears an official service animalvest. Because heis an official service dog. The five-year-old poochwas trained at the Duchess County, New York-based Animal Farm Foundation , a non-profit organization that hopes to "secure equal treatment for pit bull dogs," Apryl Lea, the organization's certified Assistance Dog International trainer, tol Continue reading >>
How To Train Your Service Dog Without A Professional Trainer
Expert Reviewed A properly trained service dog is a real asset to a person with a disability. Service dogs accompany their handler everywhere, including in public places that are usually off limits to dogs, such as shops, libraries, museums, theaters, hospitals, and cinemas. Unfortunately, because service dogs are so helpful and important, there can be a long waiting list for such dogs. If you need a service dog and can't wait for one any longer, you might want to look into training a service dog yourself. 1 Find a dog that is the right age. It can be difficult to know if a puppy under the age of 6 months has the right blend of intelligence and attention to make a good service dog. Charity's that train up service dogs, have a high 'drop out' rate, even when they have used their knowledge to select likely candidates. Buying a puppy with the express purpose of it becoming a service dog is a gamble. It might be better to source a young dog which has been properly trained and has established their personality already. 2 Assess the health of the dog. Your service dog needs to be in good health in order to meet the requirements of the job. For example, if it has arthritis, and finds it difficult to move around, it is unfair to place the responsibility of responding to the doorbell on its shoulders. Also, some dogs with health conditions such as diabetes, have needs of their own and may not always be on top form to perform their service role. You are going to invest a lot of time into training your dog, so you want to ensure it is kept in optimal health. This means twice yearly vet checks and weigh ins, a regular vaccination protocol, and proper preventative parasite treatments. Depending on where you live, this might range from flea and tick treatments to heartworm preventati Continue reading >>
Diabetes Alert Dogs, Seizure Alert Dogs & More | Medical Mutts
Finding a service dog can be challenging. There are considerations about cost, training philosophy, standards of training, guarantees, experience of the trainers, follow up, etc.To make your decision easier, here are answers to some of the questions that you might have. Do I need to live in a certain region to get a dog? Medical Mutts is centrally located in Indianapolis, IN.Because we strive to give you all the tools for a successful partnership, we have designedour program for you to access much of the information online wherever you are. We willnot ship the dog but will ask you to come to us to pick the dog up and receiveour specialized training.We like for our dogs to get used to their new person in the environment that they are familiar with for optimal results. After 4 days of working and bonding with your new companion, you'll be all set to go home. Once the dogs are accepted into our program, they undergo a comprehensive training program. We only partner the dogs once they've reached full maturityand have passed all of our assessments. Their availability and training time varies from dog to dog and depends on how long our wait list is, but we strive to keep the waiting time for our clients as short as possible (12 months on average). We select dogs based on temperament, sociability, trainability, scent abilityand friendly appearance. Because we take dogs out of shelters, they can come in various breeds, sizes or mixes. For more information about which breeds of dogs can be service dogs, please visit our blog: 'When it Comes to Service Dogs does Breed Matter?' How old are the dogs when they are placed? Dogs can be successfully trained at many ages, even as young puppies. However, as the dogs go through adolescence, their behavior might go through different chang Continue reading >>
Pitbull Saves Child From Hypoglycemia
Evidence continues to mount that dogs can sniff out hypoglycemic episodes. A Minnesota 4-year old who nearly slipped into a hypoglycemic coma is alive today because his mother chose to foster a pitbull shelter dog. According to ABC News, Minnesota mom Christi Smith noticed her son, Peyton, was lethargic, so she put him to bed. What she didn’t know was that he was on the verge of slipping into a hypoglycemic coma. Fortunately, the family had just taken in a 10-month old pitbull named TaterTot, who they planned to foster until they could find the dog a permanent home. TaterTot smelled the changes in Petyon’s body chemistry and began to fret over the boy that night by licking him and barking at him. When that failed to wake him up, TaterTot ran back and forth between Smith and the boy’s bed. Smith rushed to the boy and found him in a near-coma. He was rushed to the emergency room, where doctors treated him for hypoglycemia. Strangely, Peyton so far has tested negatively for Type 1 diabetes and doctors still aren’t sure what caused the bout of hypoglycemia. Non-diabetic hypoglycemia is less common than diabetes-related hypoglycemia, and there are scarce statistics for the number of cases that occur in the U.S. each year. Causes can include illnesses that impair kidney and liver functions, side effects to medications, glandular issues, excessive drug or alcohol use, and irregular diet. The dangers of hypoglycemia are largely the same, whether or not it is caused by diabetes, and Smith believes that TaterTot saved Peyton’s life. More people in the T1 community are turning to canine service companions to help them manage diabetes. A recent U.K. study provided evidence that use of diabetes service dogs led to fewer bouts of hypoglycemia and better medical outcomes. Se Continue reading >>
What Breeds Of Dog Can A Service Dog Be?
This is a very complex question. Traditional breeds for service dogs have been German Shepherds (GSD), Labradors, and Golden Retrievers. But nowadays the use of unusual breeds has exploded. Mastiffs are used for mobility work. Chihuahuas are used for diabetic or seizure alert dogs. If the dog has the temperment, skills, and willingness to work; almost any breed could do certain jobs. A corgi wouldn't work out for pulling a wheelchair but but could work as a hearing dog. Breeds like pugs and bulldogs don't always make the best of service dogs due to the pushed in noses--this leads to difficult breathing while walking and a shorter working life. While toy breeds can do some service dog jobs, they are not often taken seriously by store employees and the public, especially if dressed up like someone's child. Smaller breeds are being used by more disabled people on a fixed income as they eat less and can live happier in a smaller home. A cocker spaniel can alert to a sound just as well as a labrador. Bully breeds, dobermans, and rottweilers are used as service dogs. This can caused access problems in areas with breed specific legisislation (BSL) aka breed bans. Some cities require service dogs of a banned breed to be muzzled in public. Or you may not be able to purchase a banned breed if you live within city limits. Housing may also be an issue with a banned breed, or a breed considered "dangerous." In some cases, a landlord can refuse to permit a dog of a certain breed on the premises. See Can a landlord refuse a service dog based on breed? Continue reading >>
Diabetic Alert Dog - 4 Paws For Ability
Diabetic Alert Dog, Pip sensing a change in Megans blood sugar There are many tools to use in dealing with diabetes, and the Diabetic Alert Dog is one more tool to add to the toolbox used to help families deal with their child who has diabetes. With the use of a Diabetic Alert Dog the child can gain the independence they need as they grow up and mature and the parents are not afraid to allow them to do so. Here at 4 Paws we place Diabetic Alert Dogs with children who have insulin-dependent Type 1 Diabetes. As with all medical alert dogs, Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to smell the chemical body changes that occur as the insulin levels increase or drop. When a child is experiencing a high or low, their body is releasing chemicals that change their typical scent. A 4 Paws Dog with the right training in scent-based work is able to respond to those chemical changes, at the onset of the changes long before any adverse medical reactions occur, by alerting the parents or caregivers to the change at its onset. The parents and/or child are then able to check their blood sugar level and take appropriate action. Training Diabetic Alert Dogs for children means that we must train a dog that is unique in its ability to meet the needs of both the child with diabetes and the childs family. Most agencies do not work with children, especially very young children. Here at 4 Paws we have no minimum age requirement and believe strongly in early intervention. In addition to the alert work, these dogs provide a measure of comfort for the child, increased self-esteem and confidence, a distraction during unpleasant medical procedures, and of course companionship. USA WEEKEND recently published an article on Megan Rittingerand her service dog, Pip. Full story . . . Continue reading >>