the Modern Dog.
Dogs and men have formed partnerships for many centuries.
Possibly the first animals to be domesticated, and since then dogs have
variously been used for hunting, herding, guarding and as companions.
Whilst it may be true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, it
is also true that humans will always try to find new ways of utilising
the skills of man's best friend.
Some of the new roles dogs now perform on a daily basis include:-
Dogs specially trained to help people manage physical or emotional problems.
for Blind or Partially Sighted Owners
There is no doubt that “guide” dogs have expanded the
possibilities for blind people to go to many more places and enjoy
happier and more fulfilled lives. Many blind and partially sighted
people put total trust in their guide dogs, often taking their life
in their hands - for example, crossing a busy road. Their dogs also
make it easier to move about in snow, ice, mud and other rough conditions
A new service that gives partially sighted children and young people
the chance to build vital communication and mobility skills. They
are retraining dogs that weren’t quite suited to our full guide
dog programme and placing them with families and schools. Young people
get the opportunity to feed, groom and walk their buddy dog –
and ultimately gain the skills they might need for future guide dog
dogs for the deaf.
In the UK there are nearly ten million people with some degree of
Many of these people have had there lives changed by dogs trained
to alert their severely, profoundly or totally deaf owners to sounds
that many of us take for granted. Everyday sounds which hearing people
may take for granted dogs will respond to such as:-
• Alarm clocks
• Cooker Timers
• Smoke alarms
• Baby alarms
The dogs communicate by touch and then lead owners to the sound source,
providing the deaf person with greater independence and confidence,
as well as companionship and feelings of security.
Dogs for the Disabled (Service Dogs).
In an effort to improve the quality of life for many people with disabilities,
dogs have been trained to:-
Open and close doors, collect post, put rubbish in the kitchen bin
take clothes out of the washing machine, turn lights on or off, push
elevator buttons, pull wheelchairs or even take off someone’s
socks. They can also fetch a wide variety of things on command and
recognise several objects by name, including 'fetch the phone' which
could be vital in cases of any emergency. Dogs can even pick up crutches
Dogs are increasingly being used in active therapy; this may involve
visiting hospitals, care facilities, nursing homes, etc. to cheer
up patients. Studies of dogs interacting with autistic children have
shown that dogs calm them down tremendously just by their presence
and with specific tasks such as grooming a dog; the children can learn
to focus on a task, something that's very difficult for an autistic
Dogs trained with specific skills useful in many environments outside
Increasingly dogs are used in more specialist areas such as in water
rescue and in the search for human buried in earthquakes, landslides
and drug detection
The dog’s keen sense of smell is sensitive enough to detect
minute trace amounts of many compounds, this makes them very effective
in screening objects, it is claimed that some trained dogs are able
to recognise over 20,000 explosive compositions.
Mould detection dogs are regularly used in European countries such
as Denmark and Germany, where mould has been known for decades to
be a problem in buildings, they will sniff out mold hiding behind
baseboards and walls in houses, office buildings and schools.
Bates - www.pettrendy.co.uk - www.therapiesguide.co.uk
and Pages of Interest on www.pettrendy.co.uk