Dogs as Disability Aids: Paws on the Ground

Dogs are said to be man’s best friend. Maybe because they are loyal and will help you in time of dire need. For instance, dogs can be the ears of the deaf, eyes of the blind, navigators of those on wheelchairs, therapy dogs of children with physical and mental disabilities, and serve as disability aids of people who are sick and vulnerable.

  • Eye Dogs

These dogs for the blind are trained to guide their owners on how they can go around road obstacles safe and sound. Moreover, eye dogs are taught “intelligent disobedience.” In here, canines can discern when to disobey their owner’s instructions that can lead them from precarious or dangerous situations (e.g. walking along a crowded street).

  • Hearing Dogs

When inside the house, hearing dogs inform/warn their owners on common household sounds or noises that are essential in being self-reliant and out of harm’s way. For example, if someone rang the door bell, the hearing dog will make a physical contact to its owner and then will show the way towards the source of the sound.

  • Assistance Dogs for Those on Wheelchairs

Also referred to as mobility assistance dogs, they do an array of tasks for those on wheelchairs. Some include pushing the switch to unbolt automatic doors, picking up items that fell on the ground and fetching things. In addition, these dogs are trained on how to lug the wheelchair when on a ramp.

  • Therapy Dogs

In most cases, therapy dogs are assigned to kids with mental and physical impairments or to the elderly. These dogs are gentle chums that usually lie when cosseted and are frequent visitors of hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, hospice, rehabilitation facilities and home for the aged.

  • Alert Dogs

An example of an alert dog is diabetes dogs. These service dogs are the pals of people with Type 1 diabetes who have hypoglycaemic unawareness. What they do is alert their owners when they recognise the symptoms of hypoglycaemia.

Another kind of an alert dog is seizure alert dogs. Like the diabetes dogs, seizure alert dogs alert their owners when a seizure is about to happen. The dog may warn its owner either by barking or physical contact.

  • Military Service Dogs

Military service dogs have undergone a special training for war veterans or soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or physical impairments. These service dogs help their owners to become self-reliant, aside from detection and prevention of PTSD episodes.