Comprehensive Guide to How to Make Your Dog a Service Dog
You might be wondering how to make your dog a service dog, well its not so simple! Service dogs are highly respected and well loved animals. The purpose of having a service do is to meet the needs of their owners who have disabilities. There are three main types of service dogs. Emotional service dogs, therapeutic service dogs, and basic service dogs are the various types of service dogs that can be registered and certified. Therapeutic service dogs do not have the same rights and allowances that are given to owners of emotional service and basic service dogs. Service dogs can be used for a variety of different reasons. They are used for therapeutic use. They are also used to aide people with disabilities and illnesses.
Service dogs can help people suffering from depression, anxiety, and even emotional support. Service dogs can be trained, but it requires a strict regime of training. Learning how to make your dog a service dog can be a fulfilling experience that you and your dog can enjoy together. Service dogs cannot be used as a way to take your pet along with your wherever you go. They are for people who have a physical or mental disability with limited activity in life. If you have these conditions, you can take advantage of the numerous perks and benefits of training your dog to become a service dog. Now the next question is how to register a service dog?
Laws Regarding Service Animals
Dog owners should be aware of the fact that there are charities available that can help train service animals completely free of charge. The Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as ADA, is a Federal law that allows all different types of dogs to be trained into service dogs. Extra fees for airline travel, rental animal charges, or businesses, like hotels, do not apply to animals who are certified as service animals. It is important to know your rights once you train your dog to become a service animal. You do not have to tell anyone what disability or impairment you have. That information is completely confidential. Owners of service dogs cannot be denied housing because of their service dog. A dog cannot be denied certification due to breed. Disabilities that permit service dogs can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Chronic anxiety
- Speech problems
- Social phobias
- General breathing problems
- Deafness or general hearing problems
- Physical disabilities that include problems with mobility or weakness
Steps for Training a Service Dog
There are lots of organizations and businesses that can help train on how to make your dog a service dog for you. But, there are a lot of pet owners who are curious about learning to train their dog to become a service dog by themselves without the help of a trainer. This is completely possible. The following is a list of tips that can help you train your canine friend to become a service animal:
- Avoid Training a Young Puppy – Training a young puppy to become a service dog is difficult. It is easier to train an older puppy or dog because their brains are more developed than younger puppies. Pet owners should never purchase puppies from pet shops because many of the puppies sold there come from puppy mills. Puppy mills allow inbreeding among canines, which can lead to behavior issues as the puppies develop.
- Health Assessment – Assessing the health of your dog before training is important because you want your service dog to be in the best possible condition. An unhealthy service dog can’t help take care of their owner to the best of its ability. Always provide your service dog with flea and tick treatments as well as regular heart worm treatments. Annual vet visits are important to the vitality of your service dog.
- Basic Training – A service dog needs to have basic training skills such as knowing when to sit, stay, and be house trained. Basic command skills allow easier service training. This sort of training needs to take place while the dog is still a young puppy. House training can be easy if you have other housebroken animals. Puppies often mimic the actions of older dogs. These skills can be taught if the owner has patience and is committed to the training process. Fetch is an important basic training skills that service dogs need to have. Fetch is often a command used for people with physical disabilities. Make sure your dog has a strong grasp on basic training skills before moving on to more challenging commands. A dog that cannot develop basic training skills is not the best candidate for a service dog. Service dogs require intelligence, loyalty, and diligence in order to be successful and helpful to their owners.
- Clicker Training – Begin training your dog with the clicker command training system. The clicker command system allows the trainer to use a clicker to acknowledge performance and a reward system. This can let your dog know when they have performed well. As soon as good behavior is accomplished, it is important to reward the dog. This is a form of brain conditioning that service dogs require. Reward systems can consist of healthy dog treats. Rewarding good behavior will encourage the service dog in training to follow the commands of their owners.
- Obedience – Service dogs need to be trained to behave properly not only when they are leashed, but when they are not wearing the leash. This is important because service dogs do not need to be distracted. You should devise a command word that lets your dog know that it is time to stop playing and to go on duty as a service dog.
- Focus – Service dogs need to be trained to focus on you and only you. This means that service dogs need to be taught not to greet other humans. Ask a companion to approach you. If the dog begins to show attention to the approaching person, whistle to focus their attention. If the dog does not react, use the click reward system to let the dog know they have behaved well. Cats, food, and other distractions are also things that service dogs should be trained to avoid.
- Down Time – There will be times where your dog needs to run and play just like any other dog after service training is completed. There needs to be a signal that will alert your dog that they are off duty. Cue your dog with the command, ‘play’ to encourage them to play with toys and take part in other activities when they are off duty.
- Service Training to Meet Specific Needs – Depending on the impairment or disability, service dogs need to be taught specific skills to meet the needs of the owner. This can be accomplished by taking small advances. Teaching the service dog keywords and commands can be done with the clicker reward training system.
- Short Training Sessions – Keeping training sessions to a maximum of fifteen minutes is the best way to achieve results. Training in short sessions prevents the dog from becoming overwhelmed.
- Certification – Once you have trained your dog, the next step is to certify your animal as a service animal.
Steps how to register a service dog
Learning how to register a service dog is a simple process that just about anyone can complete easily in a short amount of time. It really is fast and simple to register your dog as a service dog. However, there are fraudulent websites online that promise certification, but do not provide owners with valid documentation. Learning how to get a service certification online is a simple process, but it is vital to locate a legitimate certification organizations. There are free registry websites available online. It is important to review information about each certification organization in order to obtain valid documentation. Ask friends with service animals where they obtained their certification. There are also many online reviews where dog owners can find information about organizations that certify service animals. The following is a small list of information that pet owners will need in order to certify their dog as a service dog.
- Birthday – Owners must have information concerning the birthdate and age of the dog they want to certify as a service animal.
- Breeder or Rescue Information – Owners must provide breeder information about the dog. If the dog was adopted from a rescue, contact information for the rescue is required.
- Photo – A picture of the dog is not required by law, but can be helpful to include in the certification process.
Service Dog Certification Process Information and Facts
Instant service animal certification is available. Users who opt to get certified online can print out their certification letter within minutes of providing the required information. Service animals for people with physical disabilities require different training from other types of service dogs. Emotional therapy service dogs require the least amount of training. Therapy animals cannot be taken everywhere, like public places, because they are not included in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The best and most reliable place to certify your service dog is the National Service Animal Registry. This establishment has been helping pet owners since nineteen ninety five. These are the steps how to make your dog a service dog.