Dogs are amazing creatures. They’re incredible pets, and their assistance can make lifea little lessruff.
This is especially true for “service dogs,” canines that arespecially trained to assist people with mental or physical disabilities. They can navigate environments, provide mobile stability, sense danger, fetch supplies, and also call for help. What’s even better is you can actually raise one yourself – and here are some tips for doing just that.
Check Their Competence
Similar to how there are certain people capable of Shakespearean writing or Olympian athleticism, only select canines are suited for service dog registry training. To assess if yours has the potential, here are what you should consider:
Health:Service animals need to be in optimal physical condition. If there’s something wrong with their health, it could hinder their role. Plus, it’ll be unfair to give them responsibilities that could tax their bodies.
Trainability: Look for dogs who are eager to please people. They’re the most interactive, responsive to commands, and comfortable around humans, making them highly suitable for training.
Personality: Sociable, confident,and docile – these are the 3 ideal personalities for service dogs. If they become anxious, fearful, or aggressive under certain situations, their actionor inaction can put you at risk.
Age: Committing training to a puppy under 6 months old is a gamble. At this stage, their bodies, brains, and personalities haven’t fully developed yet, making their aptitudehard to determine.
Spay or Neuter
All canines must be spayed or neutered before they can qualify for the best service dog registry. If they’re not, their highly pronounced hormones will affecttheir performance. For example, males retain their territorial issues, making them more aggressive and easily distracted.They can also have a tendency to mount other animals, objects, or people. As for females, when in heat, they give off a scent that attracts potential mates, oftenin packs.
Spaying also reduces the risk of females developing health conditions like uterine infections and breast tumors. Meanwhile, neutering helps prevent prostate problems and testicular cancer in male dogs.
What to Teach
Training your dog is a step toward turning them into a fully-fledged service animal. As for what to teach them, these are the most necessary:
Basic Commands: They should be able to sit, stay, come, and lie down on cue.
Perception: Whether you’re fine, in need of help, or in any state in between, your dog should be aware of your condition at all times.
Behavior: Service animalsmust be calm and obedient both when leashed and unleashed. They shouldn’t greet strangers and leave your side unless you command them to or if they’re aware that you need another person’s assistance.
Specialized Skills:The tasks a canine can perform depend on the disability of the person they’re with. For example, if they’re helping people with hearing difficulties, they should be able to alert them if the doorbell rings, the smoke detector goes off, or a car honks.
After you’ve followed these tips, make sure to gather documents for the service dog registry, including vet recommendation, training certification, and government authorization. Doing so ensures that the one you’ve raised is in paw-sition to help you, your friend or relative, or someone else in need.