Where can therapy dogs go

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are specially trained dogs that learn tasks to help people with severe disabilities in their everyday lives.

Unfortunately, therapy dogs are still often equated or confused with assistance dogs. Therapy dogs have nothing to do with assistance dogs and - unlike assistance dogs - they have no public rights.

Assistance dogs are only ever trained for one person and learn at least three tasks that directly reduce the partner's disability. However, this is not enough for assistance dogs. They also have to maintain high standards in public, for example they are not allowed to sniff and ignore other people and dogs. Assistance dogs are trained for around 2 years to meet these requirements. They accompany their disabled people 24 hours a day. The partner depends on the help of his assistance dog when he goes shopping or needs to see a doctor.

Therapy dogs are mostly used by healthcare professionals in their work - e. B. in an occupational therapy practice - used. Here they help several different people and not just one partner. Visiting dogs that visit nursing homes or kindergartens also help many different people. Finally, dogs that live with a person with a disability and support them emotionally through their presence are also called therapy dogs. In contrast to the assistance dogs, these dogs have not completed two years of special training, do not adhere to any standards and do not fulfill at least three direct tasks for "their" disabled person. In the USA these dogs are called "emotional support dogs". Therapy dogs are not assistance dogs.

While assistance dogs were also called handicapped dogs in the past, this expression is hardly used today because no one affected wants to be constantly referred to as a disabled person, after all, he is also a completely normal person! The term service dog is also used sporadically in Germany. While in the USA service dog is generally referred to and is very common for all assistance dogs, in Great Britain assistance dogs are not allowed to be called service dogs, but only assistance dogs. In Great Britain, all working dogs, including rescue dogs, therapy and visiting dogs, are considered service dogs that have nothing to do with actual assistance dogs. In the Benelux countries, the term helphond is often used, which relates directly to the performance of the dogs.

The term "assistance dog" is now used most frequently around the world. However, the different assistance dogs have their own sub-names, depending on the work they do for their partner:

  • Guide dogs for the blind: Guide dogs lead a visually impaired person through a guide dog harness. They show people stairs, obstacles and entrances, exits, mailboxes and switches and guide them safely through traffic.
  • Assistance dogs for LPF: Assistance dogs for LPF help a person who is restricted in their mobility and who is dependent on a wheelchair, crutches or prostheses. They help to cope with everyday tasks by picking up objects from the floor for their people, taking objects from shelves and pressing light switches and buttons. They open and close doors, drawers and cupboards, pull the wheelchair and help with dressing and undressing.
  • Mobility assistance dogs: Mobility Assistance Dogs help a person who has difficulty walking by providing support. To do this, they wear a mobility harness that the partner can hold on to.
  • PTSD assistance dogs: PTSD Assistance Dogs help a person with complex post-traumatic stress disorder and / or dissociative disorder. They wake people up with nightmares and turn on the lights, interrupt flashbacks and dissociations, lead to a quiet place in the event of panic attacks, create distance, bark on command, search rooms for intruders, watch out that nobody comes from behind when a door is opened Approaching unnoticed, go ahead in dark rooms and calm down.
  • Diabetic Warning Dogs: Diabetic warning dogs warn a type 1 diabetic in good time of the threat of hypoglycaemia and hypoglycaemia. They give the diabetic security and can save lives every day.
  • Signal dogs: Signal dogs indicate noises to severely hard of hearing and deaf people and lead them to the noise.
  • Assistance dogs for people with mental and psychiatric illnesses: Assistance dogs for people with schizophrenia, eating disorders, severe depression, biopolar disorder and borderline learn specific tasks to help their people in everyday life. This includes tactile signals that make people aware of their behavior or changes, create distance, lead to a quiet place and lead to a seat.
  • Epilepsy Warning Dogs: Epilepsy warning dogs warn of a partial seizure for a few minutes so that the epileptic can sit down to avoid falling.
  • Epilepsy indicator dogs: Epilepsy Indicator Dogs help a person with primary generalized seizures. They get help in the event of an attack, ring a bell or press an emergency button, get medication for the helper and stay with the epileptic after the attack.
  • Autism dogs: Autism dogs learn individual tasks to make the life of a child or adult with autism easier, such as calming down at melt downs, reassuring crowds, or notifying them when the child runs away
  • Asthma warning dogs: Asthma warning dogs help those affected to report life-threatening asthma attacks shortly beforehand, so that those affected can take measures in good time to prevent the attack from worsening.
  • Medical warning dogs / indicator dogs: Medical warning dogs / indicator dogs help to notice threatening situations in various illnesses such as narcolepsy, Addison's crisis and heart disease and to provide help in an emergency.
  • Allergy indicator dogs: Allergy indicator dogs help to indicate the allergy trigger in good time in the event of a serious, life-threatening allergy.
  • Stroke warning dogs: Stroke warning dogs help patients who have already had a stroke or who are very likely to have a stroke to report it in good time and to get help to prevent worse from happening.
  • FAS assistance dogs: FAS assistance dogs help children affected by FAS syndrome. They calm them down when they are overstimulated, guide them to exits and safe places in public.
  • Dementia assistance dogs: Dementia assistance dogs support a relative of a person with dementia who lives at home in coping with everyday life. They give the dementia patient warmth and closeness and alert the relatives if the sick person leaves the apartment without prior consultation.