Service dogs are professional dogs that offer various benefits to individuals with impairments. They carry out specific activities to assist their handlers in living more independently. Aside from their remarkable skills, service dogs have some intriguing characteristics. And we’ll explore five fun facts about service dogs in this article. So, keep reading!
1. They are Professionals
Service Dogs are professionals who provide valuable and irreplaceable service to their human partners. They are specially bred, trained, and certified to assist people with medical, mental health, and physical challenges that would limit their ability to function independently in everyday life.
These hard-working dogs undergo hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of hours of training. Their training includes basic obedience and manners, intermediate and advanced skills, public access, and job-specific task training. Also, their goal is to be an extension of their partner’s abilities so they can successfully reach their goals.
Each service dog’s task training is tailored specifically to the needs of the individual with whom they work. These include picking up dropped objects or opening doors for wheelchair users. It also includes teaching them how to remain calm in public settings such as on airplanes or other transportation systems. That is why people consider these talented animals to be living medical equipment by some standards.
2. The First Service Dog School Was Established 100 Years Ago
Among the fun facts about service dogs is that the first school for service dogs dates back over a century ago. Established in Germany by Dr. Gerhard Stalling in 1916, this school was dedicated to teaching dogs how to assist combat veterans. It proved very effective, becoming quickly popular nationwide within a decade of its foundation.
Unfortunately, though, due to an increased demand that couldn’t be kept up with, the school had to close its doors after 10 years, even though it had been immensely successful in providing service dogs.
Nevertheless, Stalling’s work did not go unnoticed, and it laid the blueprint for similar schools for service dog training worldwide. His remarkable findings inspired many people and organizations to follow in his footsteps.
3. They Have Many Breeds
One of the fun facts about service dogs is that they have many breeds. With over 360 breeds available to match any lifestyle or activity level, there is sure to be the perfect pup out there. Also, because any breed can become a service dog, special colors and markings no longer limit who can receive one. Mixed breeds are becoming common for those who don’t prefer a purebred or want a unique look for their pup.
Although people may raise an eyebrow at smaller breeds, such as Chihuahuas, being Service Dogs, even these pint-sized pups have undergone rigorous training. Also, people with mental health conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may benefit from a Service Dog. Many experts suggest getting one for children on the Autism spectrum to teach them social cues and behaviors that will help them throughout life.
4. The Law Protects Them
The law protects service dogs and their handlers from any mistreatment. In all 50 states, various laws are in place to ensure service dogs are not harmed. They also receive the assistance they need to complete their tasks for their handler.
If there is an attempt to hurt a service dog or interfere with its ability to perform its job, an offender can face misdemeanors with fines and jail time. This can also lead to difficult consequences, such as restitution or mandatory training on interacting with service animals.
As it is our duty as humans, we should respect and honor service dogs by not causing any distress or discomfort. Service dogs provide us with invaluably important assistance and friendship, so we must protect them accordingly. If you ever witness a violation of these laws regarding the protection of a service dog, be sure to report it immediately.
5. Financial Aids Can Fund Them
Service dogs may offer people with disabilities support that can change their lives. But getting and training a service dog can be expensive. Fortunately, many financial aid programs can assist in paying for the sale and training of a service dog.
Non-profit groups are a typical source of financial support for service dogs. These groups often rely on contributions and grants to collect money. Then, they use it to pay for the costs of getting service dogs, training them, and pairing them up with their handlers.
Government initiatives are an additional source of funding for service dogs. For instance, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers financial aid to qualified veterans with disabilities. This way, they can buy and train a service dog. Certain state governments, like federal programs, may also fund support programs that need service animals.
6. They Also Love to Play
During playtime, these dogs engage in various enjoyable exercises. Playing fetch is a common favorite, where they enthusiastically retrieve balls or toys thrown by their handlers. Watching their boundless energy as they chase, catch, and bring the items back is a joy.
Also, service dogs often appreciate belly rubs and gentle petting. They cherish their affectionate connection with their handlers and relish these moments of touch and attention. Such interactions help strengthen the bond between the dog and its handler, fostering a deeper sense of trust and companionship.
Service dogs also enjoy downtime, which allows them to relax and recharge. They may enjoy lounging on their comfortable beds or finding cozy spots to curl up. They may engage in activities like chewing on their favorite toys during this time.
While service dogs enjoy play and downtime, they are still attentive to their handler’s needs. Even during these moments, they remain attentive and alert, ready to respond if their help is required.
Service dogs are incredible animals that provide life-changing support to people with disabilities. Beyond their impressive abilities and skills, these fun facts about them have shown that they have some fascinating traits that make them even more special. Do you have any thoughts about service dogs? Please share them with us in the comments section.