International Assistance Dogs Day – August 7th
More and more people depend in their daily routine on assistance dogs. Dogs, specifically trained to help people cope with life more independently then they would be able to without their dog.
Dogs have since long been used to support humans, initially primarily to protect (guard dogs), search (sniffer dogs) and to hunt (hunting dogs). As humans developed better skills, we started to recognise many other qualities dogs possess that can help people. Working dogs, therefore, can be seen in the following parts of society, supporting their human co-workers:
- Government (Police, Military, Customs, Courthouse, etc.)
- Medical Aid dogs
- SOS support Dogs (Disaster areas, avalanches, etc.)
- Sport related Dogs
Particularly in the Medical field, there has been an enormous development in the use of Assistance Dogs to assist their “owner” to live his/her life in a more relaxed/free way. Assistance Dogs have been trained to support people with all sorts of disabilities and do no longer only help the blind.
Medical Aid/Assistance Dogs:
Assistance Dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. They can perform a variety of tasks such as retrieve items, open doors, help a person dress or push buttons for its handler. Guide Dog for Blind people, Deaf People support dog, e.o.
Medical Alert Assistance Dogs:
Assistance Dogs that are specifically trained to alert their “owners” and his/her surrounding of upcoming medical issues in their life, such as: Diabetes (dog alerts handler when his or her blood sugar levels change to dangerous levels), Addissonian Crisis, severe allergic responses (eg Nut Allergy, air born allergens based on Nuts in eg kitchen, dog can smell and remove handler from the dangerous area), Cardiac Crisis, Epileptic seizure and Psychiatric seizure/crisis e.o.
Therapy Assistance Dogs:
These kind of assistance dogs offer comfort and affection to people in difficult situations, they can be seen in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas and to people with Autism. They are usually not assistance or service dogs as they do not assist specific individuals and their disability but in general give love and understanding.
It is important that dogs who support their humans have been correctly registered as to ensure they fall in the correct group allowing them and their owner certain privileges and allowances not in place for people with dogs in general.
Do you know of anyone who has a medical support dog and would like to share their special story? or do you know of someone who should have such a special dog? we love to hear from you!
All Working Dogs in the UAE will have free consults in August 2016!
Read some incredible stories about assistance dogs all over the world: