The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

There is a reason why dogs are referred to as man’s best friend. They are friendly, compassionate, caring, and loyal. That explains why they have been working for decades as service dogs.

According to the Americans with disability act, a service dog is a dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks that can benefit persons with disabilities, including psychiatric, physical, sensory, and intellectual, among other forms of disabilities.

Federal law allows service dogs to go anywhere the public is allowed to go including in malls, parks, hospitals, and much more. Understanding different types of service dogs can help you know which one suits you or your loved one. In this post, we will discuss different types of services dogs available.

Service dogs are often selected from a pool of dog breeds that have been proven to be the smartest breeds of dogs.

1. Guide Dogs

The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

Guide dogs are tasked to assist individuals who are visually impaired. They help in maneuvering the hander around obstacles, using stairs, and moving around while in public places. Guide dogs are highly intelligent and always make the right decision based on their judgment.

They are also very good at obeying commands but don’t always follow all commands given by their handler blindly. Instead, they always assess the situation and make the best judgment.

2. Hearing Dogs

The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

Just like their name suggest, hearing dogs act as ears for people with hearing impairments. They assist their handlers by alerting them to noises such as crying babies, doorbells, alarms, vehicle hooting, and much more.

Golden retrievers and Labradors are the most preferred service dog for hearing. Based on the type of noise, the dog can either lead the person towards or away from the noise.

3. Mobility Assistance Dogs

The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

Mobility assistance dogs provide a wide variety of assistance tasks to people who have mobility issues. Some of the tasks they perform include pressing doorbells, bringing a product to and from the person, pulling a wheelchair, and much more.

Most assistance dogs are widely used by people suffering from brain injuries, arthritis, and spinal cord injuries. Service dogs used to provide mobility assistance are usually large, strong, and very obedient.

4. Diabetic Alert Dogs

The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

Commonly known as DAD, diabetic alert dogs provide care and assistance for patients suffering from diabetes. Some of the assistance they provide include alerting the patient to take their medication on time, calling for help in case the patient needs help, and most importantly, alerting the patient of changes in blood sugar before it becomes too high or too low.

5. Seizure Alert Dogs

The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

Seizure response dogs have been trained to alert the handler when he/she is about to suffer from a seizure. Experts say that this type of service dog has a natural ability to detect if an individual is about to suffer from a seizure and calls for help on time.

However, some neurology experts still dispute the claim that this type of service dog can accurately predict seizures.

6. Seizure Response Dogs

The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

Unlike seizure alert dogs that predict seizures, seizure respond dogs provide help to people suffering from epileptic seizures.

The kind of help they provide includes pressing the alarm system to call for help and getting the person out of a place that is not safe. For instance, if the person experiences epileptic seizures while walking, the dog may push him/her to a safe place.

7. Autism Support Dogs

The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

Autism support dogs play a crucial role in maintaining the well-being of people suffering from autism. Some of the tasks that they provide for autism patients include building their confidence, regulating their emotions, and helping them navigate while in a social setting.

The most important role that Autism supports dogs play is providing unconditional love and care to people suffering from autism.

8. FASD Service Dogs

The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

This type of service dog assists children who have been exposed to alcohol and tender age and have been diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). In most cases, children suffering from FASD usually have mental, physical, and behavioral problems.

9. Allergy Detection Dogs

The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

Allergy detection dogs provide help to children and adults with allergy issues. This type of service dog has an incredible sense of smell and can accurately trace allergens in food or air and alert the handler on time before it is too late.

10. Psychiatric Services Dogs

The Different Types Of Service Dogs And What They Do

Psychiatric services dogs assist people suffering from mental disorders such as depression, post-traumatic disorder, and anxiety. These dogs are considered emotional support service dogs.

They provide comfort to their handler in times of distress and can perform a wide variety of comforting tasks, including massaging the handler to help them relax.


Service dogs play a crucial role in helping people with disabilities live normal life. Therefore, next time you see the types of service dogs listed above in the public, please be kind to them because it has a crucial job to do. Remember that not all disabilities are visible. Some people may look perfectly okay, but they depend on their dogs to perform specific tasks as discussed above.

Therapy Dogs – These Dogs Are Used In Hospitals, Schools, And Other Places To Provide Comfort And Relief To People Who Are Sick Or Stressed Out

Therapy dogs are a unique type of service animal that provides comfort and relief to people who are sick or stressed out. Unlike other service animals such as guide dogs, therapy dogs are not specifically trained to perform a task. Instead, they rely on their natural ability to provide companionship and unconditional love. Therapy dogs are often used in hospitals, schools, and other settings where they can provide support and reassurance to people who are dealing with difficult circumstances.

Research has shown that therapy dogs can have a positive impact on health outcomes, including reducing anxiety, improving moods, and even helping to lower blood pressure. In addition to providing emotional support, therapy dogs can also offer a sense of companionship and routine for people who are isolated or lonely. For many people, therapy dogs are an essential source of comfort and support during difficult times.

Detection Dogs – These Dogs Are Used By Law Enforcement Agencies To Sniff Out Drugs, Explosives, Or Other Illegal Substances

Detection dogs are specially trained to sniff out a variety of different illegal substances, including drugs, explosives, and even human remains. These dogs have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, and they are able to locate even the smallest traces of contraband. The use of detection dogs has revolutionized law enforcement, as they are able to quickly and efficiently search large areas for hidden items. In addition, detection dogs can be used in a variety of different settings, including airports, schools, prisons, and even private homes. The use of these dogs has helped to significantly reduce the number of illegal substances in circulation, and they continue to be invaluable tools for law enforcement agencies around the world.

Service Dogs Can Be Classified Into Different Categories Based On Their Tasks

Service dogs are specially trained to assist people with disabilities. There are different categories of service dogs, based on the tasks they perform. Some service dogs are trained to help people who are blind or have low vision. These dogs can guide their owners around obstacles, and help them to avoid danger. Other service dogs are trained to assist people who use wheelchairs. 

These dogs can retrieve items for their owners, and help them to navigate obstacles. Still other service dogs are trained to help people who have hearing impairments. These dogs can alert their owners to sounds, and help them to communicate with other people. Service dogs perform an essential function in the lives of their owners, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each type of service dog is specifically trained to meet the needs of their owner.

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Peter Newman

Peter Newman is the owner and editor for Puppy Leader. He has two dogs and loves to train them daily. Every day, Peter takes his dogs to the park and lets them run around and play together. He also trains them each day with different commands and tricks.