Facilitating a Better Life For Veterans Through Canine Companionship and Service

Service Dog Capabilities

All dogs cannot do all things, but with proper dog selection and proper training, service dogs can complete many tasks that improve the quality of life for many physically and psychologically wounded individuals. The following are categories of tasks, with a few examples, that a Smoky Mountain Service Dog can perform.

Retrieval-Based Tasks

  • Bring portable phone to any room in the house.
  • Bring in groceries in canvas bags.
  • Pick up dropped items, i.e. credit card, keys, et cetera.
  • Bring clothes, shoes, slippers to assist with dressing.
  • Retrieve a designated bag containing medications.

Carrying-Based Tasks

  • Transport items upstairs or downstairs to a specific location.
  • Carry a prearranged object to caregiver as a signal that help is needed.
  • Carry mail or newspaper inside the house.

Deposit-Based Tasks

  • Deposit cans/bottles into recycling bin.
  • Deposit dog toys into designated container.
  • Place prescription bag, mail, other items on countertop.
  • Assist partner to load clothing into top loading washing machine.

Tug-Based Tasks

  • Open drawers and cupboard doors with attached strap.
  • Open refrigerator door with a strap.
  • Assist with clothing removal.

Nose Nudge-Based Tasks

  • Nudge shut cupboard door or drawers.
  • Operate button or push plate on electric commercial doors.

Harness-Based Tasks

Provide counter balance when walking (non bracing).

Watch this video for an example of one of these tasks: