The Doberman - Versatility - Service

Because Dobermans are intelligent and eager to help, they make excellent service dogs.  In that role, they help mentally and/or physically disabled people in a variety of ways. Some of the types of work Doberman service dogs are asked to perform include:

Guide Dogs:

Probably the most familiar type of service dog is the guide dog that is trained to help blind or visually impaired people. These dogs serve as the eyes for their owner, navigating them through traffic, stairs and sidewalks while avoiding all obstacles that could cause injury.  Joanna Walker's Pilot Dogs program trains Dobermans to guide the visually impaired.

Click the play button to see a short clip of a guide dog for the blind on the job:

Hearing Dogs:

"Hearing" or "signal" dogs are specially trained to assist deaf people. They alert their owner to sounds, usually by approaching their owner and then by going back to the source of the sound. They signal such noises as doorbells, phones, smoke alarms, crying babies, microwave bells and even tea kettles whistling.

Mobility Assist Dog:

Mobility dogs pull wheelchairs, carry and pick-up their owners possessions, open/close doors, help the handler dress and undress.

Walker Dog:

Helps the handler walk by balancing or acting as a counter balance.

Narcotics Detection:

These dogs are trained to detect narcotics using their nose.  Here is Karen Shivers and 2 of her Dobermans showing off their narcotics detection and apprehension skills:

Seizure Alert/Response Dog:

This dog is trained to respond to a person's seizures and either stay with the person, or go get help. Some dogs are trained to hit a button on a console to automatically dial 911. When the dog hears the voice over the speaker, the dog starts barking.

Psychiatric Service Dog:

A person with a mental disability may need a dog to be able to go out in public (agraphobic), or may be autistic and need the dog to keep them focused. These dogs are trained NEVER to leave their handler's side.

SSigDog (Social Signal Dog):

A dog trained to assist a person with autism. The dog alerts the partner to distracting repetitive movements common among those with autism, allowing the person to stop the movement (e.g., hand flapping). A person with autism may have problems with sensory input and need the same support services from a dog that a dog might give to a person who is blind or deaf.

Combo Dog:

Some programs, Paws With A Cause, for example, have started training dogs for people with multiple disabilities, like a guide/mobility assist dog.

Like guide and hearing dogs, service dogs of any type, are allowed in public when accompanying their disabled handler.

Therapy Dog:

A dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, mental institutions, schools, and stressful situations such as disaster areas are known as therapy dogs.

Here is a Rottweiler and Doberman doing Therapy work:


Here is "Gemma" used as the demo dog for Canine Therapy Dog's video on therapy testing: