Like therapy dogs, many dogs can be trained to help people. These dogs are called disability or service dogs.
Dogs for the blind
When you think of service dogs, the main one you probably think of is a seeing eye dog for the blind. These dogs can usually be seen walking next to a person, wearing a special harness.
Seeing eye dogs can help blind people navigate the world. They are trained to signal their owners for many different things. Seeing eye dogs can tell their owner when there is a curb to step up or down; the dog can let their owner know when they need to open a door or turn around a corner.
Many blind people feel much more at ease traveling with seeing eye dogs than by themselves with a walking stick. Seeing eye dogs can be any breed, but they tend to be labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, or german shepherds.
Dogs for the deaf
Service dogs can also be trained to assist a deaf person. The dog can be trained to signal their owner when someone knocks on a door, the dog can signal when a phone rings or an alarm goes off.
Usually the dog will go and physically make contact with their deaf owner in order to alert them.
Dogs for the physically disabled
For people who are physically disabled, or perhaps bound to a wheelchair, a service dog can be a great asset. Service dogs can be trained to turn lights on and off, open doors, retrieve items for their owners, and much more.
These types of service dogs can allow people to live on their own who otherwise would be unable to due to their physical limitations.
Dogs for the mentally disabled
People who have psychological disorders gain huge benefits by having a service dog. The dog can be trained to touch their owner when they are having an emotional episode, or they can provide emotional support and physical contact for people who for some reason cannot connect well with other people.