Posts Tagged ‘mobility service dogs’

Service dogs are more than a man’s best friend; they can be a man’s lifesaver. Mobility service dogs or mobility assistance dogs, in particular, save lives and improve a disabled person’s quality of life. Whether it is preventing their handler from falling or carrying objects to their handler, mobility service dogs open up a world that would otherwise be, quite literally, out of their handler’s reach. 

Table of Contents What Does a Mobility Service Dog Do?  Mobility Assistance Tasks Emergency Assistance Tasks How Big Should a Mobility Service Dog Be? How Long Does It Take to Train a Mobility Service Dog? Who Can Benefit From a Mobility Service Dog? What Does a Mobility Service Dog Do? 

Mobility service dogs, also known as brace service dogs or Brace and Mobility Support Dogs (BMSD), are trained to help their owner moving around or obtaining items. These assistance animals receive additional training to perform tasks that make the life of individuals with mobility issues easier. 

Mobility Assistance Tasks

Mobility service dogs can help to “brace” their owner. Bracing means helping to keep a person from falling or to assist them to sit or stand upright. Other tasks a mobility service dog can do are: 

Opening and closing exit doors and cabinet doors, sometimes by using ropes or special latches.  Pushing buttons and flipping light switches when needed. For instance, when in an elevator or automated door.  Fetching, carrying, or placing items down when told, particularly in situations when things are out of reach.  Assisting a person in a wheelchair.  Provide physical support by maintaining balance when their owner feels weak, dizzy, or if they are prone to falling.  Assists their owner to stand up or remain upright by physically bracing them or pushing and pulling them.  Serve as a counterbalance or assist their owner in walking in a straight line to avoid bumping into things. 

A mobility service dog can change the world for a person with mobility issues, enabling them to perform daily living activities.

– ServiceDogCertifications.org

Emergency Assistance Tasks

In cases of emergency or if their owner falls mobility dogs are trained to react in the following ways: 

Bark to notify bystanders or other people in the home of an emergency and the need for assistance.  Initiates call to 911, opens the door, or barks to alert first responders where their owner is located.  Retrieve emergency medication.  Stand over their owner to prevent them from being injured or stepped on.  Nudge their owner into a recovery or safety position.  Perform emergency tasks such as removing their owner’s clothing during temperature spikes or warming them during rapid temperature drops. 

Finally, as with all dogs, mobility service dogs offer companionship, loyalty, and connection to their owners—which can help lift their owner’s spirits. 

How Big Should a Mobility Service Dog Be?

Ideally, an owner shouldn’t place their full weight on their mobility assistance animal. However, because unforeseen events do happen, a service dog should be a larger-statured dog to safely perform their tasks, with both their well-being and their owner’s safety in mind. According to the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP), a mobility assistance animal should be at least 22″ tall and weigh at least 55 pounds to assist a child or a petite woman. For average adults, a service dog assisting with mobility should be over 60 pounds. 

The size of a mobility service dog ultimately depends on the size and needs of the person they’re working for. For example, a dog required only for retrieval purposes and not for falls assistance can be smaller. Service dogs used for bracing falls, however, may need to be 27 inches or taller, depending on the height of their owner. Ensuring that the dog’s size is compatible with the job required will keep both the dog and the owner safe. 

The size of the mobility service dog depends on the tasks they will need to perform in order to help their owner overcome the hardship of the disability. How Long Does It Take to Train a Mobility Service Dog?

Knowing how vital and life-changing the work of a mobility service dog is, it’s no wonder that these working dogs require extensive training. Unfortunately, there is no way to obtain a quality service dog quickly or cheaply. According to IAADP, training a mobility service dog may take a minimum of 120 hours of training. Depending on the skills necessary, service dog training may take at least six months. An additional 30 hours of training in a public setting also helps a mobility service dog execute their skills in a community environment without being intrusive with others. 

Who Can Benefit From a Mobility Service Dog?

As mobility service dogs have a wide variety of skills, they’re ideal for helping with many disabilities and disorders. The following are examples of a few conditions that can benefit from a mobility service dog:

Arthritis Spinal Cord Injury Vertigo Migraine Visual Impairment Brain injury Heart Disorders Muscular Dystrophy  Parkinson’s Disease Gait Problems

If you or someone you love suffers from any of these conditions, a mobility service dog may be the right choice. 

Show everyone your mobility service dog is an important part of your daily life with your Service Dog ID. Get your mobility service dog registered below.

Mobility service dogs do more than help a person with a disability walk or remain upright. They can receive training to perform a variety of tasks related to movement. For instance, they can: 

Move obstacles out of a disabled person’s path (such as rugs, chairs, or small objects).  Obtain items that are out of reach for a person.  Retrieve items that fall onto the floor.  Hold coats and jackets to help their owner dress or undress.  Function as a brace for people who struggle with strength or balance issues.  Bark to alert others when their owner falls or collapses. 

To register your dog as a service dog in our national database, click on the link below to get started.

Five Best Mobility Dog Breeds

Mobility dogs must be intelligent, as with all service dogs, but they also have to be an adequate size to qualify as a true mobility service dog. Because people with mobility issues may fall or require a brace, small dogs may not be appropriate. Mobility dogs are often strong and solid dogs, squarely built and full of muscle. They must also have a patient temperament, free from anxiety. 

The following dogs are the five best mobility dog breeds for people with disabilities: 

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers are a favorite choice for most types of service dog requirements. They’re highly intelligent and eager to please, but labrador retrievers also have an excellent temperament. They bond well with their owners and family, are calm in public spaces, and socialize well with other dogs. It’s their size, however, that makes them an optimal mobility service dogs. They’re strong and sturdy, and grow large enough to help brace their owners and life limbs. Male Labrador retrievers can grow up to 80 pounds and can reach two feet in height. 

The intelligent Labrador Retriever is all around a perfect mobility service dog. Newfoundlands

Newfoundland dogs are very large dogs, making them ideal for taller individuals who require fall prevention or bracing. The male dogs can grow up to 150 pounds and 28 inches in height. Although they’re large dogs, Newfoundlands are exceptionally gentle and patient. They’re well known in the dog world for being sweet and attentive with their owners—precisely what mobility service dog owners need

Newfoundlands are gentle giants that can support larger humans. Bernese Mountain Dogs

The Bernese Mountain Dog looks almost like a large fluffy teddy bear, and their temperament adds to this aura. Their broad head and thick fur are adorable, but these traits also make the Bernese Mountain Dog great mobility dogs. Their thick coat allows their owners to grab onto them or brace themselves comfortable—and their large heads can do the same. This breed also boasts a gentle and patient personality. Not prone to anxiety or fear, they are well-behaved when out in public. Adult male Bernese Mountain dogs can reach up to 115 pounds and 27 inches in height, which allows them to tolerate weight. 

Bernese Mountain Dogs has the size and temperament to be excellent mobility dogs. Rottweilers 

Rottweilers are well-known as guard dogs, but they also make ideal mobility service dog. Their size and physique make for a sturdy brace, and they can tolerate and pull weight. Male Rottweilers can grow up to 135 pounds and grow to 27 inches in height. What’s more, Rottweilers are exceptionally easy to train and loyal to their owners. Although their reputation as vicious guard dogs precede them, they’re quite calm and gentle. When in a playful mood, they can also be silly and goofy! 

With their strength and loyalty Rottweilers make great mobility service dogs. St. Bernard

The St. Bernard is a large dog. Owners who choose a St. Bernard as a service dog may want to consider their size. Not only is the St. Bernard a huge dog, but it’s also very furry—making it look even larger. A male St. Bernard can grow up to 180 pounds and 30 inches in height. Ideal for larger people who may require a brace for fall prevention, the St. Bernard is an excellent mobility service dog. This breed, especially the males, are solid and muscular underneath the layers of fur. They’re also calm, attentive, and eager to learn. Despite their size, they’re wonderful with small children and function well in families. 

The St. Bernard is a gentle, strong giant and eager to work as a mobility service dog. Other Points to Consider with Mobility Dog Breeds

Dogs used as mobility service dogs tend to be larger breeds. And large breeds need more space and more food. A mobility service dog works well in larger areas with little clutter. These dogs also need to stay fit to do their work, requiring space to run and play in. And because they’re often working, they may need extra nourishment. 

Large dogs may also require costly grooming fees because of their size and fur. This point is important because adequate grooming and feeding keep service dogs healthy and ready to accomplish their tasks. If you’re looking for a mobility service dog and can provide the right environment and care, then the breeds above may be right for you!