Monday, 28 January 2019 11:05

Assistance Dog and Their Job

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Assistance Dog and Their Job Assistance Dog and Their Job Assistance Dog and Their Job

What is Assistance Dog?
Assistance dog is a specially trained dog to help people with certain disability to mitigate their disability. The term of "Guide dog" and "Service Dog" often used in US, while in UK people tend to use Assistance Dog.

Some other terms that make big difference from UK and US is the service dog term. It is quite common for people in US to call assistance dog as service dog, while in the UK service dog literally means dogs that serve the military, for example guard dog used to help the soldier or officer to patrol some area. Such dog often called "war dog" in US.

So, don't be confused with the term. Service dog in the US refer to assistance dog that do multiple job or all assistance dog except guide dog and hearing dog, it include autism service dog, psychiatric service dog, seizure dog and many other.

Assistance Dog in the Eye of the Law
According to Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in UK and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in US, people can bring their assistance dog along and should be treated equally as normal person. For example they can bring the dog along to access some public space and treated equally. Similar law also effective in South Korea, Canada, Australia, Europe and South America.

Types of Assistance Dog
Guide Dog or Seeing-Eye Dog
These dog already trained to help visually impaired people or the blind, the term of "Guide Dog for the Blind" to refer this special dog also common in the US, it is actually a guide dog school where highly trained people trying to train German Shepherd, Labs or Golden Retriever to became a guide dog. Similar school also exists in UK with slightly different name, the school called "The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association" working under "British charitable organization".

Only 60% of all the trained dog can fully operate as guide dog, the other 40% dropped because various problem. This training is difficult and only best of the best dog graduate and became one of the most intelligent human's companions.

To be a guide dog, the dog must remain calm in various situations and require lots of socialization during puppy hood. They also can recognize color differences and traffic sign and will be trained to bring the owner a safe passage through the traffic light.

The training usually started from very early age, by letting people to be the handler. A handler usually a trainer who voluntary applying to raise and train basic command such as "SIT", "STAY", "COME", "HEEL", and "LEAVE IT". Until the puppy is old enough (about 14-18 months old) the dog will be returned to the organization to receive formal training to be a guide dog.

If during this training the dog failed because behavior or health problem, then the dog will be dropped out and probably adopted by the handler. If you think you are competent enough to volunteering yourself as a guide dog handler, you can see the worldwide list of guide dog school from wikipedia.

Hearing Dog or Signal Dog
This dog have a special job for their master, it's giving various responses/signals from various sounds. One most compelling job they do is telling their master when someone calling the master's name and guide them to the caller. This makes the dog should know their master name, not only knowing their name. Moreover, the dog should always concentrate and alert with any sounds because they’ll never know when someone will call their master’s name.

The training also involves vast socialization, obedience training, and temperament test. This ensures that the dog will behave nicely and works without too much trouble for the owner.

This dog also has special access right to the public, just the same as guide dog. This is because the ADA of 1990 and DDA of 1995 states clearly that people with disability have the right to bring their assistance dog to public place as long as the dog behave nicely, unfortunately, most people only aware about the "Guard Dog" and take very little concern about hearing dog. How many times you see a sign like "No dog allowed except guide dog" or probably "no dog allowed except seeing-eye dog" these signs can quite discriminate those who need hearing aid from a dog.

Service Dog (US Term)
Unlike guard dog or hearing dog, service dog trained not for one special purpose. Service dog give their service to help human doing various task, medical response dog, autism service dog, psychiatric service dog, seizure alert dog and many more.

This dog receive lots of special training like opening door, assisting people in wheel chair, be friend and helping those with PTSD, and many other task. The dog’s training usually adapting the owner's need.

Since everyone have different needs, the training of service dog can be done privately (often called owner-trained dog). The success training for service dog are quite high, it's about 85% if the owner-trainer can do proper research since the breeding, raising and training. However ill-informed and less experienced owner-trainer will have less success rate.

All in all, assistance dog is a working dog. They have a job to do and they have some extra responsibility compared to other dog. This will require the dog to know when to work and when it's not, so this dog will require something to let them know when they assigned for a job. This requires some training to make the dog understand the meaning of using the service coat and special ID tags. When they use this tags and coat, they work and when the owner let it go, then its play time!

For more information about assistance dog please find it here and if you want to find the member list of assistance dogs international organization, you can find it here. From this list you can find all current approved and pending member of assistance dog international, if you want to volunteer yourself as a handler, you can ask someone from this contact list from your local area.

Volunteering yourself will help someone’s life with unfortunate fate to live their life easier for years to come, and you can also donate your puppy if you have some puppies from good behaved mother and father, this also help people for years.

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