Thank You For Helping!
Financing Available!

What Does a Service Dog Do?

Because a disability can take so many forms, a service dog is trained to perform the tasks needed to mitigate the disability of the person that s/he will be providing service for. I will have another post soon on some of the different tasks that some dogs do for their human partners, listed by types of disabilities.We will assume that the dog you have either already does the minimum, or that you are in the process of training him to do so, but my goal is to go way beyond that.

In my opinion all service dogs should be trained to open doors and drawers, turn on lights and fetch, carry and drag items, etc, in addition to the main tasks that focus on the disability of his or her human partner. As most people know, the service dog improves the quality of life just by being there as a constant and loyal companion, although that does not legally count toward qualifying him as a service dog.  Unless you have mobility issues, and cannot open your own refrigerator, the thing that makes him a service dog is what he does for you to help you with your individual disability, but a dog that can go to the refrigerator for you can still make life easier for someone with just about any kind of disability!

It is my contention that there are plenty more things that our dogs could be doing for us that would contribute to our overall wellbeing, even if those things are not directly connected to what we absolutely cannot do for ourselves, such as getting us a drink or a snack when we just don’t have the energy or otherwise feel like getting it ourselves, even though physically perhaps we could do it.

It’s easy for almost anyone with a disability of any kind to feel lonely and even become depressed, because the fact is, the very nature of a disability usually prevents one from participating in some activities and social situations.

Of course, a dog is not a substitute for human companionship and conversation, but unfortunately too many people are alone (except for their service dogs) more often than they might otherwise be were it not for their disabilities. It’s also a fact that the more interactive and useful a dog is, the better a companion he will be. Even if one is not in the middle of a crises that requires the main tasks for which the service dog is trained, it’s nice to be able to ask him to go and get a drink from the refrigerator and a snack from the cupboard for the two of you to share as you watch TV or read a book while your human companions are out enjoying some other activity that you are not participating in.

My dog Varah seems to really enjoy helping while I cook, and watches attentively for me to leave the cabinet doors or drawers open so that she can close them, which of course I try to remember to do, so that she has things to keep her busy. She also waits eagerly for me to ask her to open the refrigerator so that I can get a item out, and then she closes it.

If I feel up to cooking in the first place, I can open and shut my own doors and drawers, but having someone there participating in the activity (even if it is only a dog) goes a long way toward helping me keep a positive mental outlook.

Please comment and tell us what your dog does that makes him or her a better and more helpful companion, or suggest things that you think would do so, disabilities notwithstanding…

Facebook Comments

One Response to What Does a Service Dog Do?

  • Stacey Turpin says:

    My Boston Terrier alerts me to sounds that I can not hear, 1 being the alarm going off at the time that I am to take my meds, he alerts me to the cooking timer, so I do not burn my food when I am cooking, he alerts me when the timer goes off on the microwave, he alerts me when the smoke alarm goes off, he is a response dog to my panic attacks, and anxiety attacks, he helps ground me when I am having one, by lying on my chest and doing LPT and licking my face when I need him to until I come out of it and come back around and am able to function again.

Please comment, I value your opinions! :)

Keep Me Posted
Please Follow Me