Living with a disability can be difficult, but service dogs can provide invaluable assistance. These amazing animals are trained to perform specific tasks that help their humans live more independently.

If you’re considering getting a service dog, or are already living with one, this article will give you everything you need to know about these wonderful creatures.

What Are Service Dogs?

A service dog is a dog that has been specifically trained to assist people with disabilities. They are not the same as therapy dogs or emotional support animals, which provide companionship and emotional support but are not trained to perform specific tasks.

Service dogs can be trained to do a wide variety of things, such as providing physical assistance with everyday tasks like getting dressed or opening doors, alerting their handler to sounds or smells, assisting with balance or mobility, and even providing life-saving interventions in the case of a medical emergency such as seizure alerts and low blood sugar for diabetics. 

What Types of Disabilities Do Service Dogs Help With?

Service dogs can be trained to assist people with a wide variety of disabilities, both physical and mental. Some of the most common include:

  • Blindness or low vision
  • Deafness or hearing loss
  • Mobility impairments
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What Are the Common Service Dog Breeds?

The most common service dog breeds are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Standard Poodles. However, any breed of dog can be trained to perform specific tasks to help their disabled owners.

Service dogs are not born ready for the job. Instead, they are trained and raised by elite breeders who are pros in recognizing the traits of a great service dog. Once a breeder comes along a pup perfect for the job, the dog is then trained and certified.

If you’re in the Great Lakes region, you can find white golden retriever puppies through Elite White Goldens. They’re a professional, ethical breeder of English Cream Golden Retrievers with a history of breeding and raising successful service dogs.

Service Dog Laws

Service dogs are protected under two federal laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Service dogs are allowed in all public places, including businesses, government buildings, and schools.

The FHA protects people with disabilities from discrimination in housing. This includes renting, buying, or living in a home. Under the FHA, service dogs are not considered pets and are allowed in all housing, regardless of any “no pets” policy.

Where Can You Get Service Dogs?

If you think that a service dog could improve your quality of life, the first step is to consult with a medical professional or disability specialist to see if you meet the criteria for having a service dog. Not everyone who could benefit from a service dog will be eligible, as the training and care of a service dog can be costly and time-consuming.

If you are deemed eligible for a service dog, the next step is to find one. You can get white golden retriever puppies from a certified Michigan golden retriever breeder and have the pups trained yourself, or you can purchase a fully-trained dog from a reputable service dog organization.