Service dogs play a vital role in the lives of people with disabilities. These loving and intelligent canine companions can be invaluable partners to handlers with physical, neurological, and mental health needs.


Some service dogs help their owners perform daily tasks. Others are specially trained to provide supportive assistance to people with diabetes, epilepsy, and autism. Let’s take a look at five of the most common types of service dogs and how they help their owners live safely and independently.


What Are the Different Types of Service Dogs?


Service dogs are specially trained to perform specific tasks for people with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or mental disabilities. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, certified service dogs have full public access rights to go anyplace their handler goes.


A good service dog will have the following characteristics:


  • Keen sense of smell
  • Desire to work
  • Calm demeanor
  • Friendly and loving disposition
  • Innate intelligence
  • Good decision-making skills


Some of the most common breeds of service dogs include Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Poodles. The type of service your dog provides depends on what purposes they are called to serve. Here are five of the most common types of service dogs:


1.   Allergy Detection Dogs


These dogs are specially trained to detect allergen odors and alert the handler of potential danger. Allergy detection dogs help prevent handlers with severe allergies from going into anaphylactic shock. They can pick up the scent of an allergen, such as peanuts, gluten, or eggs, before a person comes in contact with it. Most allergy detection dogs wear a vest with their handler’s essential medical information and emergency allergy medication.


2.   Diabetic or Seizure Alert Dogs


Diabetic alert dogs are trained to alert their handler to potentially-deadly spikes and drops in their blood sugar. When the dog alerts, the handler knows to test their blood or use their medication to adjust their levels.


Seizure alert dogs help assist their handler before, during, and after a seizure. They can keep their handler safe until they regain consciousness, find someone for help, and bring medicine to emergency personnel.


3.   Guide Dogs


Guide dogs are the most commonly known type of service dogs. They help blind or visually impaired handlers safely navigate the world. Unlike other dogs, guide dogs practice selective disobedience, responding to commands but making choices based on their safety assessments.


4.   Mobility Assitance Dogs


Mobility assistance dogs help people with physical disabilities perform daily tasks. This can include retrieving objects, opening doors, and turning on lights. They’re commonly used by handlers with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and other physical disabilities.


5.   Psychiatric Service Dogs


Some service dogs are specifically trained to help individuals with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They notice a change in their handler’s disposition and help them through their psychiatric disorder’s difficulties. They can even create a physical barrier from other people for those with PTSD and force handlers with depression to take care of themselves.


Call It’s a Dog’s World K9 Academy for Dog Training


Service dogs require a unique set of skills to obtain their certification. At It’s a Dog’s World K9 Academy, we provide comprehensive Rancho Cucamonga dog training for all breeds, including service dog training. Give us a call today!