Over the years, dogs have proven why they can truly be described as man’s best friend. From an early age, dogs show unrivaled love, affection, and loyalty. Little wonder why many owners feel sad when their beloved dogs eventually die. This natural trait has led to the training of mobility service dogs. Mobility service dog breeds are especially useful for disabled persons as they help them perform certain tasks that they can’t perform on their own.
This article will focus on the numerous activities and tasks mobility service dogs can provide to disabled persons. If you are looking for a dog for therapy, service dogs are not for you. However, you can find animals that can provide therapy. But what are mobility service dogs?
What Are Mobility Service Dogs?
A mobility service dog is a service dog that has been trained specifically to aid physically disabled people who have issues with mobility, such as those with poor balance or those bound to a wheelchair. Any dog can be trained to be a mobility service dog. However, certain dog breeds are easier to train as mobility service dogs. If you decide on getting one, consider how much it costs to train a mobility service dog.
Since they are service dogs, mobility service dogs can be taken to places where animals are prohibited, such as restaurants, hotels, or public transportation. In the United States, certain Federal or State laws have penalties for businesses that deny mobility service dogs from entering their premises.
What Mobility Service Dog Do?
- Support and Stability on Stairs
For a disabled person with mobility issues, walking up and down the stairs unaided can be very challenging or even impossible. Without the help of someone, a disabled person can fall and get seriously injured. Mobility service dog breeds can help guide such persons when they want to climb stairs.
- Support While Dressing and Undressing
Mobility service dogs can also be trained to assist disabled persons to dress up when they want to go out. They can help bring their clothes and any other items they may need to dress up. These dogs can also help such ones to undress when they get back home. Mobility service dogs are indeed helpful!
- Help in Retrieving Phones
People who have mobility issues will not always have the strength or balance to walk frequently. For someone in a wheelchair, retrieving their phone when it rings is impossible. With the help of mobility service dogs, however, disabled ones can always rely on them to retrieve their phones when necessary. This way, they can make or receive calls easily.
- Hitting Elevator Buttons
With mobility service dogs, hitting elevator buttons won’t be a challenge anymore. Mobility service dogs can be trained to hit specific numbers on the elevator. All the disabled person has to do it to tell the dog the floor number and let the dog do the rest.
- Turning the Lights On and Off
Turning the lights on and off doesn’t have to difficult for disabled persons when they have a mobility service dog. They can be trained to put the lights on and off when needed. Of course, the switch should be within the reach of the dog so it can perform its task properly.
- Retrieving Dropped Items
Phones are not the only thing mobility service dogs can retrieve. These dogs can help retrieve items you may have dropped by mistake. That includes bags, food items, accessories, and many others.
- Carrying Small Items
Mobility service fogs can also carry small items for their owners. Although the size of the dog can determine the weight of the item carried, mobility dogs should not be given heavy items to carry. Mobility dogs are not working dogs and as such, there should be a limit to the kind of items they can carry.
- Opening and Closing Doors
Apart from providing stability for disabled people, mobility service dogs can also help in carrying out simple tasks like opening and closing doors. Additionally, these dogs can also help in opening and closing drawers and closets.
Choosing A Mobility Service Dog Breed
Choosing a mobility service dog breed to train as a handler depends on various factors. These factors include:
- Size at maturity
- Hereditary breed traits
- Coat care
- Dog smell
The truth is that the services that can be rendered by mobility service dogs are endless. However, service dogs are trained to provide specific tasks and they can only carry out tasks they are trained for. Mobility service dogs are trained to carry out tasks that fit the routine of their owners. While the tasks can become routine, the service dogs will still need to be given specific commands before they can get the job done. Mobility service dogs are also trained to provide support to their handlers who have fallen and need help getting back up.
Mobility service dogs are not the only dogs that can help humans. Children and teachers that have gone through traumatic events can find help in therapy dogs. Find out how therapy dogs in schools help such ones.