Types of Service Dogs
Service dogs are very special. They assist with individuals medical needs that may or may not be visible to others. Service dogs live with a person in his or her home and perform tasks that allow their humans greater independence, giving them the ability to participate more fully in everyday life.
Deafinitely Dogs! provides highly trained services dogs to support people with disabilities. We specialize in the following types of service and assistance dogs. Deafinitely Dogs! does not train or place dogs for guide work for the blind, seizure detect/response, or personal protection.
Autism Service Dogs
Trained to be a calming partner, autism service dogs can interrupt repetitive or escalating behaviors. They are able to respond to signs of agitation by applying gentle physical pressure to help intervene and de-escalate.
Diabetic Alert Dogs
For those with type 1 diabetes, a drop in blood sugar can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Some people – especially children – are unable to recognize a drop. Because dogs noses are so acute, they can detect changes in body chemistry. When a diabetic alert dogs detects a drop in blood sugar, they alert their human partners to check their levels. Dogs do not take the place of the human testing! If asked, the dog can retrieve diabetic kits for testing and medication. Dogs alert their partners while they’re driving, exercising, working, playing, or sleeping.
Hearing dogs are trained to alert the deaf and hard of hearing to household sounds such as smoke/fire alarms, doorbell, kitchen timers, baby cries, and more. These sounds are important for safety and independence. Hearing dogs are trained to physically make touch and lead their person to the source of the sound. Many of these dogs are trained for in-home only. When deemed necessary, we also train dogs that help their person with increased awareness of their environment while in public. By providing sound awareness and companionship these dogs provide increased freedom and independence.
Mobility Assistance Dogs
For people with a physical disability and limited mobility (such as poor balance or wheelchair dependency), mobility assistance dogs are canine superheroes!
These dogs are trained to do many tasks for their human partners to help them live more independently. Mobility assistance dogs can open drawers or doors, pull a wheelchair up a ramp, pick up and carry objects, turn lights on and off, help their partners walk, and a wide variety of other tasks. They help people with many conditions like stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral palsy complete tasks that would be difficult or impossible to do on their own.
Psychiatric Service Dogs/Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Dogs
PTSD dogs are trained to help military veterans, first responders, victims of traumatic life events (e.g. sexual assault), or others living with PTSD. These amazing canine partners are trained to:
- Interrupt anxiety. PTSD dogs are taught to nudge, lick, or paw their person when they notice agitation or anxiety. This interruption assures their person that they are not alone and will be okay.
- Stop nightmares or flashbacks. Re-living the trauma in a dream or nightmare can be paralyzing. PTSD dogs are trained to wake their person to stop the nightmares and turn on the lights in a darkened room to assure their person they are home and safe.
- Offer companionship and reduce isolation. PTSD dogs give assistance, but also unconditional, non-judgmental love to their people. Having a highly trained, furry friend by their side significantly reduces isolation.
Skilled Companion Dogs
Because they do not partner with their people in public, skilled companion dogs are not considered service dogs. However, skilled companion dogs can provide great value to the elderly, those with disabilities, families with disabled children, and others.
Deafinitely Dogs! provides skilled companion dogs to those who are in need. When possible, Deafinitely Dogs! will try to use rescue dogs in our skilled companion dog program.
Occasionally, these dogs will have been released from our Service Dog in Training program, but make wonderful skilled companion dogs. These dogs will require a minimum donation of $3,500 to Deafinitely Dogs! The donations will go directly towards the care, training, and acquisition of the dogs in our assistance dog program.
Deafinitely Dogs! will evaluate applications, do home visits and place dogs in homes deemed to be the best fit for both the individual/family and the dog.
If you’d like to apply for a service dog, request an application.