What you Need to Know About Service Dogs

 

Service dogs are incredible companions, and on top of that, they help assist people to get through their daily lives. They must be trained to be able to properly help out people and act obedient. They must also be certified to ensure that they are a fully- trained service dog. This will allow them access to places that aren’t usually dog-friendly. No matter what, you must take care of your service dog just like any other dog. Remembering things like socializing them with other dogs and letting them play outside is key for their quality of life.

Types of Assistance Dogs

There are different types of assistance dogs: guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs. Guide dogs help those who have visual impairments. They help serve as the “eyes” of these people and work to guide them safely to avoid any obstacles or danger. They may be identified by their harness with a raised handle.

Hearing dogs help those who have hearing impairments. They help to serve as the “ears” of these people and work to help them with anything that requires hearing. This could be alerting them of a doorbell ringing, the phone ringing, or other such tasks. They may be identified by the color orange on their vest or leash.

Service dogs help those with mental health issues, diabetes, seizures, autism, or physical disabilities. They can be used for assistance with a variety of tasks. All of these dogs combined form the “assistance dogs” category – a category of dogs that are well-trained for a variety of tasks, like alerting others if their owner is having a seizure, in a diabetic coma, etc.

Training a Service Dog

Service dogs must go through extensive training to be officially recognized as proper assistance dogs. Training starts from about six to eight weeks old and continues throughout the dog’s life, as they constantly learn new tasks. A public access test is required for the dog to be an official assistance dog. They must also be trained in the specific area in which they will help their owner in, known as task training. As dogs age and their owner’s needs change, additional training may be required. They may also be trained in multiple areas of service if they show potential for it.

Just as these dogs take care of us, we must also take care of them. The training process can bring a lot of unfamiliar environments and tasks with it that can make your dog anxious. Many pet owners are turning to natural remedies, like the best CBD oils to help calm their dogs and keep them focused. No matter what, you must take care of your service dog just like any other dog. Remembering things like walking and socializing them with other dogs is key for their quality of life.

Certifying a Service Dog

To be an official service animal, your dog must meet numerous qualifications outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Once registered, the dog will be entered into a global database of service dogs, and they will receive an official vest to wear and an ID license. With this identification, your service dog will be allowed into public locations that may be unwelcome to other dogs.

There are many dogs that are already trained in a variety of areas and for a variety of tasks. You may either find a dog that is already trained, or you can get your own dog trained and certified. Either way, it is important to educate yourself beforehand to ensure that you are educated on the process beforehand.  

There are many tasks that your dog can be trained to assist you with, and they have even been known to save lives by detecting seizures, diabetic issues, and other such issues that may arise. Service dogs are an incredible resource that the disabled population has been gifted, and understanding their training is an important part of appreciating them.

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