Types of service dogs you can adopt
If you’re lucky enough to be purchasing a dog that was trained to provide a service for people, or a least adopting a dog that was accepted for such training but did not make it for some reason, you are in for a special treat. Most people aren’t even aware that such dogs exist.
What type of pets are we talking about? Any dog that was trained for or actually worked a “career” by leading the blind and helping other disabled people is a prime example.
3 types of service dogs
When looking to adopt a professionally trained career dog, your choices come in three different forms: dogs that are retired from being guides, “career changing” dogs, and finally, there are the canines that for some reason did not make it through the training program, or simply put – flunkies.
Retired guide dogs
Just like people, service dogs cannot work their jobs forever. As these animals get older, they become slower and are no longer effective in helping their owners. The average amount of time that a service dog can work is approximately 8 years. At this point they become prime candidates for adoption by people like you and me.
Dogs retired from multiple careers
Many dogs can be taken out of one service job and then trained for another. The reasons for this can vary. It may be because of temperament issues, medical concerns, or perhaps a dog was just not a suitable match for its owner. For example, a dog may be retired from guide service and then prepared and transferred to work at a rehabilitation hospital or a nursery home. Sometimes these types of animals are even assigned to children’s homeless centers in order to play with the kids.
Dogs that just didn’t make the cut
Finally, we have our flunkies. Now before you consider a flunky to be a negative thing, reconsider that notion because quite the opposite is true. Thousands of dogs are trained every year by organizations which lead them into service jobs.
Not all of these dogs make the cut and move on to work with people. They are considered flunkies for whatever reason, whether it is from temperament problems, health problems, or perhaps were a little too excitable for service work. However, the important aspect to remember here is that these dogs are still a cut above any other pet you may find elsewhere.
Just to get accepted into these types of programs for training preparation means they already had natural first-class qualities and characteristics which made them ideal candidates. These dogs are typically between the ages of one and two years old. Most are very gentle and loving and have had some type of extensive obedience training during the beginning of the program.