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The breeding of dogs, historically, was mainly for raising a dog to perform some particular service or duty such as guarding, hunting or herding. Some dogs still perform these duties but the majority of working dogs have jobs that have evolved such as helping people with disabilities or simply providing comfort. Service dogs are providing independence to people with a wide variety of disabilities and conditions
Guide dogs are dogs that are trained to help the blind or visually impaired. Guide dogs are trained to be the navigating part of a human-dog partnership. Guide dogs cannot read signals or signs nor can they figure out the route to take. One amazing thing about guide dogs is they are trained to be disobedient or ignore a command if the situation puts the pair in danger.Service dog laws Colorado is one of the authority sites on this topic.
Guide dogs have been under a law established by the Americans with Disabilities Act allowing, up until recently, only guide dogs into establishments that would normally not allow dogs such as office buildings or restaurants. Eric Holder Attorney General under first term of Barack Obama’s administration redefined these laws to include a broader definition of service dogs including mobility dogs and dogs that help the hearing impaired.
Mobility dogs help their human partners to get up or negotiate walking as well as other finer duties such as turning lights on, opening doors, getting items out of refrigerators, etc. Mobility dogs are being used to help injured veterans returning from war. Hearing assistant dogs help the deaf or hearing impaired. They accomplish this by alerting their human partner when needed such as when the phone rings or the doorbell.
Medical assistant dogs do specialized functions for people with certain conditions. For instance a person that suffers from epilepsy may have a medical alert dog that will sense an oncoming seizure, warning the person so they can take the necessary precautions. The more we learn about canines and their abilities the more amazed we are at the help they can provide. Training a dog to assist a human to provide an independence they would never had enjoyed otherwise is a worthy and remarkable accomplishment.