Service dogs are amazing. They have so many talents and an unprecedented level of dedication to their owner’s wellbeing. The loyalty of a companion service dog can quite literally change a person’s life. While some dogs are trained to lead the blind, or help the deaf, other service dogs are often overlooked because their contributions are lesser-known. Emotional service dogs help people in many ways, including getting them out of stressful situations. One particular type that’s often misunderstood is the stutterers’ service dog. Fortunately, I’ve known a couple of these unusual animals and learned all about them. Here’s everything you need to know about why stutterers need service dogs.
Why do stutterers have service dogs? Dog’s are well known for their ability to calm and de-stress people, but stutterers service dogs provide more than just comfort. They are a nonjudgemental audience for the person who has trouble communicating. A service dog doesn’t care how you say something, or how long it takes to convey a message.
Why a Stutterer Needs a Service Dog:
Support animals are a subject few people take the time to understand truly. However, like degreed professionals, they have specialized training and are certified to do a job. They’re experts in making people’s lives better and easier.
- When you have a speech impediment, there’s often a lot of anxiety associated with merely speaking. Dogs provide comfort and relieve stress for their owners in tense situations.
- Social anxiety can be crippling, so a service dog is attentive to their human’s mood and needs. They can help someone quickly exit a problematic situation.
- Finding someone who truly listens is difficult when it takes you longer to communicate. For a stutterer, there’s no more patient audience than their service dog.
- Human listeners can be judgemental, but a dog doesn’t have that flaw. They will pay attention without ever getting frustrated or rude.
- People often try to finish a stutterers’ sentences to ‘help,’ but it has the opposite effect. Dogs don’t interrupt a stutterer or try to finish for them.
Stuttering Troubles & Service Dogs
We live in a culture where instant gratification is a big deal, but a stutterer can’t provide that in conversation. Having a service dog when you stutter is a relief and a distraction from the frustration of communication. People may not understand, but a service dog loves you the same no matter what you say, or how long it takes. They will wait patiently until you’ve finished.
People who are differently-abled face a lot of ridicule in their daily lives. Alternately, when people try to over-help, it can be very disheartening. Even being too supportive in the wrong way can cause a person to feel less-than instead of supported. When a service dog helps, they do only what they’re trained for, and never assume more is needed. In short, they help people to help themselves.
Especially for speech impediments, the frustration associated with trying to make a point can, unfortunately, result in making it even harder to say what you mean. Anxiety and stress affect how well someone can focus on getting the words out. Having a trusted companion who will give you love, listen, or provide a quick escape route if a situation is overwhelming can help. People who don’t have to try to do it alone are more able to communicate effectively.
Understanding & Supporting Stutterer’s Service Dogs
Regardless of whether you know someone with a stutter and a service dog or not, there is plenty you can do to help support these enabling animals. While some people ‘don’t get’ why another person needs an emotional support animal, most of us understand that supportive companionship is healthy. Learning more about them is the first step.
If you are lucky enough to know someone with a service dog, ask them questions about their companion. Going directly to the source is one fantastic way to promote better understanding. You’ll get a firsthand opportunity to see how much having an assistance dog truly changes a person’s life.
What Is a Service Dog
Sometimes called assistance dogs, they’re is exactly what it sounds like. Dogs who help people, regardless of what problem they help solve, is a service dog. Most people are familiar with the dogs who guide the blind, but that’s just one specific type of help.
Dogs are brilliant and intensely loyal. Moreover, they’re happiest when they have a job to do. Service dogs love their humans and their lives as companions. Some learn to give the alarm in case of emergencies, while others provide unwavering patience, love, and judgment-free support to those in need.
Each type of service dog gets qualified for the job they do. Hence, service dogs are not interchangeable. A dog who helps monitor a diabetic’s blood sugar levels with their incredible nose doesn’t also know how to guide a blind owner unless they’re uniquely trained to assist a blind diabetic.
Do Something Special for a Service Dog
Showing appreciation to a stutterer’s service dog can be tricky. If the dog isn’t yours, then you can’t help with training. Moreover, you should not pet service dogs that aren’t yours, nor play with them.
Getting some treats for a friend or family member’s service dog can be just as tricky. Only the owner is supposed to give the dog rewards. It’s a part of their bond. So what can you do to show how glad you are that someone you love found has a stutterer’s service dog to help them?
Instead of trying to guess what the dog or their person might need, I suggest the Activedogs Service Dog Kit. It comes with tags, a breathable service dog vest, and other accessories to help the dog do its job. Whether you’re looking for a holiday gift, birthday present, or you wish to show some support, giving them a kit made for their service animal shows understanding. You can pick one up for the stutterer with a service dog in your life by clicking here.
How Service Dogs Help Stutterers Function
Yes, service dogs for stutterers can learn to find the best exits and get their person out of a bad situation. However, there’s more to the service than doing something for the person. Having a service dog helps people learn to handle their disabilities better.
A service dog supports their person in tough times. Additionally, they help the human do more on their own. For example, a dog can’t teach speech therapy. Yet, they can make the experience a relaxing and enjoyable one.
Having an assistance animal provides opportunities for socialization. They can create an ice breaker and a psychological barrier. They protect the owner, but not with their teeth. Helping a human communicate better with others is the core of a stutterers’ service dogs’ profession.
The emotional toll of having to work so hard to express your thoughts and feelings is awkward at best. People who are unable to have a ‘normal’ conversation often suffer from depression. Anxiety, stress, and emotional turmoil aren’t merely bad for people. It can shorten their life expectancy. Service dogs are saving lives and making them both longer and more complete with their unique training.
Loving a Service Dog
Stutterers and other people who have assistance animals form deep bonds with their working pets. There’s nothing quite like the trust bond between a person and their canine service companion. If you rely on a service dog, then tell the world!
Sharing your experiences helps more people to understand how these incredible canine companions are changing lives. Comedian Drew Lynch, who has a stutter, had a vlog with his beloved service dog, Stella, until she passed away. It helps to promote awareness of how diverse service dogs genuinely are.
If you’re new to having a service dog, you may want to keep a couple of extra sets of your registration paperwork around. Service dogs are required to be registered after all, like any other ‘degreed’ professional, they have to prove they’re trained for the job.
You can show off your pride in your special stutterers’ service dog with a custom certificate. Working Service Dog’s Custom Registered Service Dog Certificate is beautifully made and well worth framing. You can pick one up with your dogs’ name and yours along with your unique registration numbers. Display yours with pride! Your service dog deserves it! Check out prices and availability by clicking here.
The people who train service dogs aren’t simply working on agility or tricks. They are providing a much-needed service that changes people’s lives for the better. Fostering emotional (or physical) support accessibility is an incredible way to give back to your community.
Whether you’re a stutterer, a friend or family member, or just an interested outsider, you can help people learn more about service dogs for stutterers. Sharing what you’ve learned is vital. Feel free to send a link to this article to your social circle. Teaching someone about this incredible type of service dog is one way to make the world a little better.
Everyone deserves to live their best and most capable life. Stutterers’ service dogs can help people achieve that goal in a beautiful and long-lasting manner.