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Assistance Dog Tasks - The Wonderful Helper With Four Feet

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There are enough assistance dog tasks to comfort people who have mobility issues.

Assistance dogs - with Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherd Dogs being the more popular breeds - are trained well to assist those with certain physical disabilities.

Find out below what assistance dog tasks are made possible by man’s best friend.

Tasks Of Assistance Dogs

Retrieve-Based Tasks

COPYRIGHT_SPINE: Published on https://spinal-injury.net/assistance-dog-tasks/ by Dr. Bill Butcher on 2022-10-27T06:52:36.361Z

They include the following:

  • bring portable phone to any room in house
  • bring in groceries
  • fetch a drink from a refrigerator or cupboard
  • fetch food bowl’s
  • pick up dropped items like coins, keys etc. in any location
  • bring clothes, shoes, or slippers laid out
  • to assist with dressing
  • unload/load washing machine or dryer
  • fetch basket with medication from cupboard
  • use target stick to retrieve an indicated item off shelves in shops
  • use laser pointer to target an item to be retrieved
  • drag walking stick or crutch from its customary location to another room
  • fetch items when out of reach

Carrying Tasks

They include the following:

  • carry items downstairs or upstairs to a specific location
  • carry items from the partner to a care-giver or family member in another room
  • send the dog to obtain food or other item from another person and return with it
  • carry items following a partner using a walker or other mobility aids
  • pay for purchases at high counters
  • transfer merchandise from a shop assistant to a wheelchair user’s lap
  • carry mail or newspaper into the house

Deposit Tasks

They include the following:

  • put rubbish and junk mail into a waste bin or dustbin
  • assist partner to load clothing into top loading washing machine
  • put dirty dog food bowl into kitchen sink
  • put other non-breakable items in sink
  • deliver items to a designated cupboard
  • deposit dog toys into designated container
  • put shopping list, bag, mail, and other items on shop counter or domestic worktop
A German Shepherd assistance dog sitting on the grass with an Asian adult male resting his head on its back
A German Shepherd assistance dog sitting on the grass with an Asian adult male resting his head on its back

Pulling/Tugging Tasks

They include the following:

  • open cupboard doors with attached strap/cord
  • open drawers with strap/cord
  • open light doors with a suction cup device
  • open handled doors with attached rope/cord
  • slide patio door open
  • assist to remove shoes, slippers, sandals
  • tug socks off without biting down on foot
  • remove trousers, sweater, coat
  • drag heavy coat and other items to cupboard
  • take edge of a blanket and move backwards, tugging to remove it, or assist someone to pull the blanket up to their chin if cold

Nose-Nudging Tasks

They include the following:

  • cupboard door or drawers - nudge shut
  • washing machine door - hard nudge
  • swing bin - nudge open
  • operate button or push plate on electric commercial doors
  • turn on light switches
  • assist wheelchair user to regain sitting position if slumped over,
  • help put paralyzed arm back onto the armrest of wheelchair
  • return paralyzed foot to the foot board of a wheelchair if it is dislodged

Pawing Tasks

They include the following:

  • cupboard door - shut it with one paw
  • refrigerator and freezer doors - one forepaw or both
  • operate light switch on wall - jump up
  • paw the switch, pedestrian crossing buttons, lift buttons
  • operate push plate on electric commercial doors
  • close heavy front door, other doors - jump up, use both forepaws
African-American blind woman in brown coat and blue denim jeans standing beside a black guide dog in a park
African-American blind woman in brown coat and blue denim jeans standing beside a black guide dog in a park

Other Types Of Assistance

Mobility Assistance

Dogs can also help by bracing to enable partner to keep balance whilst transferring from wheelchair or similar.

Also, with the right harness, a large fit dog and a light enough partner dogs can help with moving wheelchairs, overcoming obstacles and supporting those unsteady on their feet.

Emergency Assistance

  • bark for help on command
  • find the career on command
  • lead back to location of disabled partner
  • wake up partner if smoke alarm goes off
  • operate the big button on an emergency home-call telephone
  • fetch a portable phone off its cradle
  • to bring to disabled partner who has had a fall
A brown Golden Retriever assistance dog standing on a pile of big rocks
A brown Golden Retriever assistance dog standing on a pile of big rocks

Final Words

This list is only a sample of the practical ways an assistance dog can help a disabled partner.

These dogs are amazing and do everything with a wagging tail and an eagerness to please.

They can and do change lives.

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About The Authors

Dr. Bill Butcher

Dr. Bill Butcher - With more than two decades of experience, Dr. Bill Butcher aims to provide a repository for educational materials, sources of information, details of forthcoming events, and original articles related to the medical field and about health subjects that matter to you. His goal is to help make your life better, to help you find your way when faced with healthcare decisions, and to help you feel better about your health and that of your family. Bill received his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and spent his entire career helping people find the health and medical information, support, and services they need. His mission is to help millions of people feel fantastic by restoring them to optimal health.

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