You may have heard the terms companion animal and service dog before but do not know what they mean. Generally, they refer to working dogs that have been trained to assist people with specific needs. Service dogs help individuals with disabilities lead a more independent life. The task they perform is often directly related to the person’s physical or mental impairment.
Types of Service Dogs
There are many types of service dogs, some of which are listed below:
- Psychiatric service dogs assist individuals with disabilities such as panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, major depression, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
- Mobility dogs assist people who have balance issues, use walking devices, or are wheelchair-bound.
- Guide dogs help the blind or visually impaired navigate their surroundings.
- Hearing dogs ensure that the deaf or hearing-impaired persons are alerted to important sounds.
- Seizure response dogs protect individuals, who have seizure disorders, from an episode.
- Diabetes assistance dogs signal the onset of blood sugar highs and lows through scent.
Getting to Know the Malshi
If you’re thinking of getting a Malshi for yourself or someone who needs assistance, it is important that you first learn about its temperament. A cross between the Maltese and Shih Tzu, this designer dog breed inherits the best traits of its parents. It is happy, affectionate, loyal, and alert. It loves being with its family, is wonderful with children, and gets along well with other household pets.
Training a Malshi
To be a potential service dog, a canine must first undergo rigorous training programs. Usually, it is trained from puppyhood by specialised programs. What makes a Malshi an excellent candidate for a service dog is its intelligence and lively disposition. This breed is highly trainable and eager to please, making it a breeze to teach. It easily learns basic obedience with the use of positive reinforcement.
The Malshi as a Service Dog
Being a small dog, the Malshi is not suited for heavy service work like pulling a wheelchair. However, it can be helpful in other things such as retrieving small objects, opening low cabinet doors, and giving individuals medical alert warnings.
Because it is easy to train and loves to bring joy to others, it can excel in therapy work. It will do well with people who have psychiatric or emotional conditions, retirees who are looking for companionship, and individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, and palliative care facilities. It can also help bring comfort to victims of traumatic disasters or events as well as stressed travellers in airports.