Types of Service Dogs and What They Do

Infographic Transcribed: Types of Service Dogs and What They Do for Their Handlers


Hearing assistance dogs help handlers who are hard of hearing or deaf. They alert their handlers to things they cannot hear, such as alarms, doorbells, people calling their name, and more.


Guide dogs provide assistance to visually impaired and blind people. These dogs are trained to guide around and alert their handlers to things they cannot see.


Alert/response dogs are trained (or have the innate ability) to detect and respond to their handler’s medical emergency before it happens. These dogs are used for a variety of conditions like seizures, syncope, heart rate changes, diabetes, allergens, narcolepsy, and more.

Psychiatric/Autism Assistance

Psychiatric assistance dogs assist handlers with mental illnesses like PTSD, anxiety, depression, OCD, and more. They can be trained to retrieve medication, interrupt anxiety attacks, nightmares and dissociative episodes, provide deep pressure therapy, and more. Autism assistance dogs are trained to assist handlers on the Autism spectrum and can be trained to interrupt meltdowns, provide sensory stimulus, and more.


Mobility dogs assist handlers with a variety of physical disabilities that impact their daily lives. These dogs can be trained to pull wheelchairs, retrieve things, open doors, turn off lights, assist with chores, and many more tasks.

Types of Service Dogs Placed with Handlers by Accredited Orgs(1):

Seizure Response: 0.8%
Diabetic Alert: 2.3%
Psychiatric Assistance: 4.0%
Hearing Assistance: 10.5%
Autism Assistance: 9.2%
Mobility: 32.6%
Guide: 40.6%

Did You Know?

Guiding Eyes for the Blind, one of eleven accredited guide dog training organizations in the US, estimates that there are approximately 10,000 working guide dogs in the US. (2)

(1) Assistance Dogs: Historic Patterns and Roles of Dogs Placed by ADI or IGDF Accredited Facilities and by Non-Accredited U.S. Facilities
(2) Statistical Facts about Blindness in the United States

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