10 Lesser Known Types of Service Dogs


When someone says the words “service dog,” most people think of seeing-eye dogs: specially trained animals who help those with vision impairments live ordinary lives.  Although these are the most apparent form of service dogs and they provide a great service, dogs are capable of doing so many jobs that most of us wouldn’t realize.  Some of these will be familiar to some of you and some won’t, but we should all appreciate the amount of work that dogs do around the world

10. Military Dogs

Contrary to what the name may suggest, these dogs are not out on the front lines of battle.  They are rather trained to accompany war veterans who are returning with some sort of disability, whether it be PTSD or a loss of limbs.  They are trained to help with basic tasks such as turning lights on and off and opening and closing drawers.

9. Diabetic Dogs.

Diabetic dogs are are a fairly new group of service dogs.  They help people with all forms of diabetes by providing a warning system for when they need to take insulin or going to get help if their owner goes into shock.

8. Physical Assistance Dogs

These dogs are able to help people who do not have full range of motion, no control over their limbs, or missing parts of their body.  Physical assistance dogs are trained to help with daily tasks such as taking out the garbage, opening doors, and retrieving certain items for their owners to use.

7. Seizure Alert Dogs

Seizure alert dogs are trained to do what the name suggests. They are able to recognize that the owner is having a seizure and find someone to help them.  These dogs are very smart and can sometimes even tell that a seizure is about to happen and lead their owners to a safe place while they find help.

6. Therapy dogs

Dogs can be trained for all types of therapy causes.  Studies have shown that petting a dog lowers stress levels and blood pressure.  You can find these dogs on college campuses around finals time.  Therapists are also known to have dogs with them in their office because it relaxes the patients who come to visit.

5. Hearing Dogs

These dogs are given training very similar to what guide dogs receive, except these dogs are for the deaf or hearing impaired.  They act as his or her owner’s ears and can alert them to something them may not be able to see.  For example they are trained to recognize the sound of a microwave and oven, which allows their owner to not worry about burning the food or causing a fire.

4.U. S. Customs and Border Protection Dogs

These dogs are specially trained to work the borders of the United States along with border control.  They have a reputation for being ruthlessly efficient at sniffing out illegal contraband that is trying to be smuggled across borders.  They are also trained to spot fugitives trying to escape police surveillance.

3. Search and Rescue Dogs.

These dogs are usually found in dangerous, remote locations such as the mountains or the Alaskan wilderness.  They are trained to follow scents and find people who may be trapped or lost.  They have been known to smell someone trapped under six feet of snow.  Most people first think of St. Bernard’s when they hear this type of service dog, but border collie are actually the preferred breed for this job

2. Fire Dogs

First off, yes the most popular breed of fire dogs is dalmatians.  Those childhood cartoons actually got this one right.  What they didn’t get right, is that these dogs do not just keep the firefighters company, they go into the fire themselves.  They are a crucial part of a rescue team in a fire and many people owe their lives to these brave dogs.

1. Police Dogs

These dogs are extensively trained in almost all the areas that police officers are trained in, from illegal substance detection to chasing down a convict.  The way these dogs are trained to find illicit substances is the officer in charge of them just plays fetch with them, except the ball is covered in the illicit substance the dog is being trained to find.  SO when they search a home, its just like playing a game of hide and seek for the dogs.

Service dogs come in many different shapes and sizes, and we may never directly interact with one in our lifetimes, but we can all agree they are an important part of many people’s daily lives and this just gives them another reason why they are called man’s best friend.