Are Service Dogs Ever Off-Duty?

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Are Service Dogs Ever Off-Duty?

Most people will see service dogs around quite frequently. They often are wearing special badges to indicate their jobs. Everyone knows that you should not pet a service dog when you encounter one, it will distract them from their important job. Since they seem like such hard workers, many might wonder if they are ever off-duty?

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Different from a Therapy or Emotional Support Dog

In recent years, a lot more people have started using therapy or emotional support dogs. They are actually quite  different from service dogs. Service dogs are dogs that have been specifically trained to do a task. This can be a variety of different tasks, but the dog actively watching for a situation and relying on their training to perform a task. Emotional support and therapy dogs are dogs whose presence is beneficial, either physically or psychologically, to their handlers.

Types of Service Dogs

There are many different types of service dogs, each has a different task to perform. If service dogs are ever off duty depends on the type of work that they perform. These are the  main types of service dogs:

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Guide Dogs

Guide dogs are one of the most commonly seen types of service dogs. They lead blind and visually impaired people around, alerting them to obstacles. These dogs are well trained and how blind people function properly.

Hearing Dogs

Hearing dogs function similarly to guide dogs. However, instead of helping the blind, they help the deaf and those with hearing impairments. They are trained to listen for noises like alarms, phones ringing, or anything else important, and alert their owner to the noise. They can then guide the person towards the noise.

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Mobility Dogs

Mobility assistance dogs provide quite a different range of tasks for those who struggle with mobility. They can bring things to their owners, hit buttons to open automatic doors or operate ramps, and even provide support for someone to lift themselves upon after a fall or pull a wheelchair up a ramp. These dogs are also trained to call ambulances if their owner has fallen and needs some help.

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Is a Service Dog Ever Off Duty?

Service dogs live a busy life. While many have long days, they get plenty of downtime. Some service dogs have entire periods when they don't have to work since their owner is otherwise occupied. Others that are on call in case something happens are usually always aware of what is happening. However, they aren't stressed about their work. Instead, this state of alertness is fun for them. They get plenty of downtime even if they are watching out for their owner.

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