Humans aren’t the only members of the workforce! The American Kennel Club (AKC®) celebrates the evolution of our canine coworkers – what jobs they were originally bred to perform and what work you can see them doing now. Dogs go above and beyond each and every day, not only as beloved family pets, but as loyal members of the workforce. They do many important jobs from hunting, bomb detection, alerting people to life threatening situations. They have been and always will be valued members of the workforce Therapy, Skilled companion, Emotional Support, Service? What's the difference?
Therapy: Therapy dogs are dogs who go with their owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. Read more about the AKC Therapy Dog Program.
SKILLED COMPANION: Skilled companion dogs are usually dogs released from service dog programs. They are selected for excellent temperament, are generally in good health, and have good manners and basic obedience. Some may even be task trained or may be trained to perform tricks. These dogs are ideal for children with disabilities who are not yet ready to take on the responsibility of a service dog for themselves. Skilled companion dogs do not work in public access. Well-trained dogs can also attract the attention of other children, encouraging social interaction between the child with a disability and neighborhood kids. He ceases being the "disabled kid" and becomes the "kid with the really cool dog." Most programs will select the best of their dogs who do not make the grade for service work for skilled companion dogs. These dogs may have minor health problems, a reduced work ethic, or some issues with public access that put them out of the running for service work but do not interfere with being a skilled companion. These animals are prized pets that are specifically set aside for children with disabilities.
Service Dogs: A service dog is a specifically trained to help people with disabilities. Those disabilities may include visual difficulties, hearing impairments, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), seizures, ambulatory issues, mental illness (depression, anxiety), diabetes, autism, and more. Types of Service Dogs: Mobility Dog – may retrieve items, open doors or even push buttons for its handler. Also, this Service Animal may assist people with disabilities with walking, balance and transferring from place to place. In our case we are also trying to help with symptoms of autism, sensory processing disorder and more. Medical Alert Dog – trained to alert to oncoming medical conditions, or attend its handler in the event of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, epilepsy, etc. Autism Service Dog – Assistance Dog that is trained to alert its handler of certain behaviors so that the handler may keep these behaviors to a minimum. This dog provides stability and the dog’s presence offers a calming influence and provides focus. Abstract and concrete thinking advance, focus improves, and the length of attention span increases. The important role of an autism service dog is affording the individual more independence and autonomy, helping those individuals become a viable part of the community. Psychiatric Service Dog – works with a handler that has a mental disability. Some types of tasks could be to attend a handler who may need a dog to be able to go out in public (agoraphobic), or a handler who suffers from panic attacks, anxiety attack, PTS (post-traumatic stress) or other mental disorders. These dogs are trained NEVER to leave their handler’s side Allergy Alert dogs. Peanut allergies can be life threatening. Stepping up to the job to alleviate parents’ fears when their kids leave the house are a variety of dogs that have the uncanny sense to sniff out even the slightest trace of peanuts. These dogs are trained to detect the allergen and its residue at schools, social events, and everyday activities and alert their owner. Their training is similar to that of a police dog learning to track scents or drugs.
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