Barbets of the world
A service dog is a type of assistance dog, specifically trained to help people who have disabilities. Desirable character traits include good temperament or psychological make-up, good health including physical structure, intelligence and trainability. Dogs that are trained to assist a disabled person in managing various daily activities. These disabilities/special needs can range from physical; vision, hearing, wheelchair, epilepsy, diabetes, etc, to cognitive, mental and emotional.
Service dogs have full access wherever their human partner goes. This includes restaurants, bars, airports, buses, trains, taxi cabs, public parks, hotels, grocery stores, and anywhere else their human partner goes. The purpose of the Service or Guide animal is to do for that person, what they cannot do for themselves ie: open a door, stop at a stop light, find medications at the appropriate time. Here is a good resource for Service Dogs
Currently there are many Barbet serving humans in various capacities.
In France, there are Barbet used as Guide dogs, and in assisted living homes as well.
In North America (Canada) the organization C.O.P.E. has started to implement Barbet for their Service Dog work. The dog pictured below is the first Barbet in North America to be training in the Service Field.
Working as a Service Dog can be very rewarding as it implements a “job” for the Barbet to do, and with their fiercely loyal attributes, they make not only an excellent helper, but friend. The Barbet are easily trained with their intelligence, and well suited for working for and with humans based on their temperament.
Dock Diving is a fun sport that combines two of a Barbet’s favorite activities – retrieving and swimming. Dock Dogs International and Splash Dogs offer competitions. Some classes challenge dogs to jump for distance and others compete for height.
Hunting & Retrieving
Barbet currently work as Therapy Dogs in Europe and North America.
In the United States a Therapy Dog is a pet that provides “Animal Assisted Activities” or “Animal Assisted Therapy”. According to Delta Society, these are the terms that human service providers and volunteers use when referring to the involvement of animals in human treatment programs. We do animal-assisted therapy when we work directly with a licensed healthcare or human service provider to help a patient meet specific goals. We do animal-assisted activities when we meet and greet people to brighten their day, or do a demonstration in front of a group of people.
Therapy Dog Teams are used in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, schools, libraries and many other facilities. Volunteers can schedule visits once a month or several times each week. There are opportunities during weekdays, evenings and weekends. There are many, many opportunities and it is possible for volunteers to find visits that fit their interests and schedule.
The AKC initiated the Therapy Dog (THD) performance title in June 2011 to recognized dogs performing the work. To find a therapy dog certification organization in the US or to learn more about therapy dog work, check out the AKC site, Some organizations offer evaluations at dog shows where they offer Canine Good Citizen tests. Some training clubs test following completion of their basic obedience course.
Volunteering as a Therapy Dog Team can be a very rewarding activity for both you and your dog.