Service dog services are designed to assist a person with many different tasks. The first service dog was trained to assist a blind man so that he could get around his home and community. This added to his enjoyment of life and allowed him to become a valued member of his community.
For over 50 years guide dogs provided services to the blind helping them navigate their world. Dogs would be developed that could alert the hearing impaired to alarms, doorbells, and even dangers like traffic coming from behind them. Dogs that provided mobility support were trained to assist those in wheelchairs to make it easier for them to transport in and out of buildings as the dogs were trained to pull doors open and then hold them while the person was wheeled through. Doors that have buttons to open them and or automated doors were not developed until later. In fact, the Americans with Disabilities Act began to help the disabled gain better access to businesses, and bathrooms and even create safer intersections. It wouldn’t be until the early 2000’s that the development of service dogs to assist people with other ailments would be developed.
Service dogs today can be trained to assist people with all kinds of impairments. The introduction of Psychiatric Service Dogs came around 2000 with the development of scent dogs being trained to detect peanut allergies. Dogs have been trained to detect cancer, and diabetes and some claim that they can detect seizures. Although it should be noted that many of these scent-related impairments have fabulous medicines that perform better for the individual than the dog, as they are more reliable in the treatment process. People that suffer from seizures desperately want to be warned of an oncoming seizure, it should be noted however that dogs actually being able to warn you prior to a seizure is rare to non-existent. However, medical alert dogs are trained to get individual assistance by alerting another human to the situation.