Assistance and service dogs

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In most cases when we think about dogs, we think about companion dogs, and this means most of the dogs we see in families, but there are other dogs that are assistance and service dogs, the latter are working dogs.  Thousands of years ago, dogs associated with humans were always used for a service, over time they became closer and most dogs became companion dogs (valadez 2002). Over time, with the creation of breeds, they became something different. They realized that some breeds could be specially trained for certain jobs, whether it was assistance or service.

Today there are many types of assistance dogs to help people who suffer from physical and mental limitations and illnesses.  On the other hand, there are service dogs, which are the ones that work in the police, firefighters, anti-drugs, rescuers, etc. They are very important in these areas, since their sense of smell can be trained to detect a specific thing or find objects that the human cannot.  Service dogs are almost always taught to detect a range of smells in a way such that they find what they are looking for, assistance dogs have different tasks, consisiting on helping one or several persons who with  certain limitations. They can help a blind person and protect it, they can also calm an autistic person when they have an anxiety attack, with the smell and specific characteristics of the person they can detect an epileptic attack among other tasks they can perform, assistance dogs are not very common in the streets , since they have a very high cost given that they need training for at least one year and special care so that they do not lose their faculties (crowe et al 2014). Almost all people who have had an assistance dog become dependent on it since it is an animal that does not judge them, nor does it see them as a burden, the dog feels comfortable in its work.  The dog is not always in assistance mode, the owner is also useful to him so that he can take him out for a walk to play and relieve himself, so it becomes a mutualistic relationship.  It is important to highlight these tasks of dogs since they are essential for many people with these limitations, and it is also possible to highlight all the qualities that a dog can have.

An interesting fact is that although assistance or service dogs are normally from certain breeds, there are also many mixed-breed dogs that fulfill the same function, the difference is that they are trained by their own owners, and with time and patience can show many skills, so although some breeds are faster when it comes to learning something new, mixed dogs can also be and assimilate new functions very well.


If you suffer from any limitation, encourage yourself to adopt your furry companion and live a unique experience with your personalized assistant.

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  • Crowe,T.K.,Perea-Burns, S., Sedillo J. S.,Hendrix,I.C., winkle,M.,y Deitz,J. 2014. Effects of partnerships between people with mobility challenges and service dogs. American journal of occupational therapy, 68(2), 194 – 202.


  • Valadez, R. 2002. El origen del perro (segunda parte): entre el lobo doméstico y el criadero primitivo. Asociación mexicana de médicos veterinarios especialistas en pequeñas especies, 13 (3), 102 – 111

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