Dogs are known to be man’s best friends and loyal companions. More than just being a pet, dogs have special abilities that make them unique from other animals. They can be trained to perform tasks and even assist humans. But did you know several dogs actually fail their service training?
Half of the dogs in training fail, and because of this rate, there have even been an experiment in South Korea cloning service dogs who have passed their training resulting in a higher passing average rate.
What Are Service Dogs?
Service dogs are also known to be called working dogs. They undergo individual training specific to the tasks they need to perform to assist persons with disability, making them live more manageable and more independently. (Source: American Kennel Club)
What Are The Basic Types Of Service Dogs?
Psychiatric Service Dogs are specifically trained to assist individuals with psychological disabilities such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental health conditions. Some of the tasks of these owners’ service dogs were trained to remind them of their medication, interrupt repetitive behaviors, witching the light on in a dark room, and the like.
Guide Dogs could be for the blind or visually impaired companions to navigate the environment around them, and for those with hearing disabilities to be assisted in alerting humans of essential sounds. Some guide dogs serve immobile individuals with balance issues or those who need a wheelchair or walking devices.
There are also what we refer to as Medical Alert Dogs, who serve their human companions who have existing medical conditions that may occur anytime, life seizures, low blood sugar, or even alert them with their allergens. (Source: American Kennel Club)
What Are Common Dog Breeds That Are Trained To Become Service Dogs?
With the different tasks that service dogs are trained to do, here are the most common breeds for various service tasks:
- Golden Retrievers
- American and English Labradors
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Border Collies
- Bernese Mountain Dogs
- Portuguese Water Dogs
(Source: UDS Foundation)
Who Was The First Cloned Dog?
Snuppy, born in South Korea in 2005, was the name of the first cloned dog. It was an Afghan hound. Scientists wanted to discover what will happen when animals are re-cloned making them re-create Snuppy four times using its stem cells.
Snuppy was raised in an experiment at Seoul National University for a study to find out the health effects on cloned animals. This experiment gained popularity in producing identical and superior animals both used for research and industry.
The average age of dogs like Snuppy, Afghan Hounds, is 11.9 years. Snuppy lived for ten years and died while going through cancer treatment. On the other hand, Tai, one of Snuppy’s clones lived for 12 years.
All Tai’s littermates died even before they all reached the age of 8. (Source: Newsweek)
When Did Training Service Dogs Start?
There has been no official date when training service dogs started, but from the evidence gathered, there was a mural of a dog assisting a blind man found in the ruins of the ancient Roman city Herculaneum way back in the 1st century A.D.
Les Quinze- Vingts, a hospital in Paris, was the first known unofficial school for guide dogs.
It was the year 1847 when Jakob Birrer, Swiss, wrote about his experiences of being personally assisted by a dog he had trained for about five years. (Source: The History of Service Dogs)