Mobility Service Dogs offer a wide range of assistance for individuals requiring additional support getting around in their daily lives. From retrieving dropped items to bracing during transitions, the assistance of these highly trained dogs opens up an entirely new world of independence and confidence for their handlers. Due to the wide range of individual needs and specifics, mobility service dogs can be custom-trained to focus on the tasks necessary to improving the quality of life for individuals looking for mobility assistance. Alongside the tasks these dogs are trained, mobility service dogs have also been reported to have countless emotional and psychological benefits as well.
What does mobility assistance mean?
Also referred to as wheelchair assistance dogs, these service dogs provide support in common daily activities such as opening and closing the refrigerator, retrieving items that may be out of reach, stability assistance during the owner’s transition to and from the wheelchair, and much more. The wide variety of tasks these dogs may be trained is endless and depends upon the specific needs of the handler/owner.
The diversity of diagnosis and situations leading to the requirement of a mobility service dog is vast, therefore each individual’s application is handled as unique and so is the selection and training of their service dog. Additionally, we understand the needs of the owner may change over time so we make it a point to stay in close contact with the family before and during the training, as well as after delivery.
Benefits of a Mobility Service Dog
Working with a service dog requires teamwork and an unbreakable bond between the owner and their dog. Immeasurable benefits occur as a result of the relationship that grows between this team. Aside from the tasks these dogs are specifically trained to do to mitigate the disabilities of their owners, other advantages of mobility assistance dogs include:
Tasks and Training
Each individual is unique, therefore the tasks required can differ immensely. Tasks are determined during the application process by reviewing the needs and wishes of the individual applying for a service dog. The tasks offered by mobility assistance dogs are limitless but examples of these tasks include:
Retrieval of Dropped Items
Mobility service dogs can be trained to identify fallen objects and return them to the owner. This helpful task can aide individuals who require the use of wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, etc., providing assistance to those who find difficulty reaching items they have dropped.
Retrieval of Specific Objects
Mobility assistance dogs can be trained a cue to retrieve specific objects from familiar spots. Examples of these objects include cell phone, medical bag, certain mobility devices, keys, etc.
Service dogs can be trained to offer a sturdy platform for bracing yourself when transitioning from a wheelchair, scooter, or other mobility device to the bed, car, a seat, etc. Using a specially designed mobility harness, the service dog can assist with adjustments, walking short distances, and more.
Opening and Closing Doors
From kitchen cabinets and refrigerators to bedroom doors and dresser drawers, mobility service dogs can assist with opening doors of many kinds and then closing them after you are finished. In addition these dogs can also be trained to hold open specific doors for the wheelchair to go through.
Flipping Light Switches
From across the room, Mobility Service Dogs can go turn the light switch on or off on command. This makes morning routines and room entrances much easier in the day to day life of an individual in a wheelchair.
How can I acquire a mobility service dog?
If you are interested in starting a new journey and working relationship with a mobility service dog, please begin the application process by submitting a preliminary application. After the review of your application, you will be invited to have a phone consultation with a service dog trainer to discuss your application, specific needs, and possible tasks a dog could be trained to assist you. During the phone consultation, the trainer may ask that you supplement your application with additional information to aide the trainers in their decision of the correct methods of training your specific service dog.
After the approval of your complete application, you are admitted in to our service dog program. At this time, you will be sent a Training Agreement and Task/Performance Addendum. These must be signed and returned, along with a deposit of $2500 to hold your spot on our waiting list.