What is a k9 service dog?

K9 dogs are specially trained and prepared indispensable assistants of policemen and guarding and patrolling officers. The main duties of k9 security dogs are maintenance of public order, crime prevention, and the search of crime evidence, explosives, and drugs. However, while experts teach some breeds how to cope with unforeseen dangerous events, deter and prevent illegal behavior, and become a part of a cohesive safety and protection strategy, K9 service dogs undergo different training program since their key mission is to become a guide and helper for people with disabilities, serving a disabled person and helping handling daily difficulties.

Thus, K9 service dogs acquire a specific range of skills or abilities to perform tasks in the interests of a person with disabilities, including physical, sensory, mental, intellectual conditions that limit movements, senses, or activities. Objectives performed by the dog should be directly related to the health limitations or illness of the owner and are aimed at partially compensating for these limitations, increasing the degree of disabled person independence and autonomy. The service canine’s main functions are:

  • assisting persons who are blind and visually impaired in avoiding obstacles;
  • alerting deaf people about the presence of others and helping them recognize sounds;
  • assisting the person during the cardiac episode;
  • warning people about the presence of allergens;
  • ensuring balance during walking or steady support and stability while standing;
  •  helping with wheelchair transferring;
  • carrying objects, opening doors, and other physical actions that are impossible for people with impaired body function;
  • helping people with mental and neurological disorders by preventing or interrupting impulsive behaviors.

It is worth mentioning that providing emotional and psychological support, well-being, comfort, and communication are not the key purposes of such a dog. Thus, it is crucial to understand that the difference between K9 security, service, emotional support, and therapy dogs, and pick the partner that will be right for you.

 Do service dogs have to pass a test?

The canine that will become a K9 service dog must go through the learning procedure and after, in order to demonstrate proficiency and expertise in providing specific services for disabled people, must pass a public access test to become a certified helper. The evaluation system was developed to be sure that a dog has a certain set of qualities and characteristics to meet a particular disability.