Dogs are our loyal companion that provide health benefits to us beyond our imagination. Dos can take commands and do various tasks and are our best friends in everyday life.
Service dogs come with all these abilities, and they are also getting more and more common in society.
What Is A Service Dog?
A service dog aids a disabled person to have a more independent life. According to the disabilities act in America, a service dog is “a service animal is a dog that performs tasks for a disabled person.”
Dogs are essential to humans, as they happen to be the sole species called service animals. Although some ponies or smaller horses can help the person suffering from a disability, new provisions regulate them. Service dogs are called working dogs, and they’re not considered as pets.
“Work” implies that the dog is skilled to complete a precise job that is needed to aid the individual with a disability. The job that is carried out by the dog has to be associated with the owner’s disability.
“Disability” – an impairment in the individual that causes limitation in the person’s daily activities. If the person can’t see, the dog can help the person to cross the road safely and avoid holes or drains in the way.
There happens to be 3 sorts of service dogs.
Guide dogs will help blind people navigate around the environment. The dog makes sure the person is unharmed, especially when they are visually impaired.
Hearing dogs will help the deaf individual to essential sounds.
Service dogs help individuals that are impaired other than vision and hearing. The dogs are trained to use wheelchairs or have issues in balancing. Autistic children also need service dogs, and they also must be keen to other problems like low blood sugar or with people with mental disorders.
Common Service Dog Breeds
The most typical breed of guide dogs would be the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever. These dogs are friendly and always watch the owner properly.
Service dogs might be either very small or very big. The size of the dog has to suit the dog’s function, and the dog must easily execute the jobs needed to aid the disability. For example, the Papilion breed might not be able to pull a wheelchair, but it is an amazing hearing aid or supporting the owner emotionally. A lot of service dogs are saved from housings.
Service Dog V/S Therapy Dog
What are service dogs? Dogs for a single person to perform specialized tasks that can let the person deal with the disability. The difference between service dogs and therapy dogs is a service dog is one dog for one person while a therapy dog serves everyone. They make the hospital patients comfortable and cheerful & old folks home or other nursing home dwellers as well.
Service dogs must be appropriately handled. It must be insensitive to distraction, and it is extremely skilled to do many tasks. They also can’t be distracted by the public, and they should only focus towards their master during the time of work. Training dogs will require 2 years for getting assigned to a client. Service dogs also need to have a vest which labels them a service dog, and this signifies the public should not pet them.
Therapy dogs need to be friend-like and packed with energy, yet rather obedient. They can socialize with a large number of people and places. Therapy dogs have to be taught to have obedience & manners and need to continue education workshops continually. Therapy dogs are supposed to give the owner emotional support & owners offer opportunities for affection at a volunteer basis.
Training a Service Dog
Service dog training is a long process. The dogs must be able to perform tasks on command, and they need to perform skills according to the regulations test. Many objectives need to meet the regulations in distracting environments.
Many service dogs are bred for the organization’s job. The organizations have high standards and not all the dogs pass the test to become a service dog. The dropout rate of the trained dogs can be more than half the total number of dogs.
Owner-trained service dogs have become the latest trend over late. Long waiting lists and extra time and costs along with people that have disabilities train their service dogs. Owners that want to prepare their dogs need to seek professional dog training services. They need to find a trainer that is aware of all laws involving service dogs.
Every service dog must be trained in handling the owner’s disability and in public access skills.
How much does a service dog cost?
Service dogs can be expensive, regardless of where the dogs come from. Organization trained service dogs can cost $25000. This includes two years of training and the company’s expenses for the dog’s food and pet care. Owner trained service dogs are rather expensive, so it might be better if you hire a professional to give proper dog training.
Characteristics Of A Service Dog
Calm and friendly
Alert but insensitive to disturbances
Able to be touched by everyone
Follow owners around
Able to adapt to different environments
First Steps To Training Your Service Dog
IF you plan to train your dog by yourself, you need to seek the help of a professional dog trainer. There are a few foundation skills that you can start at home that will give your dog a great career that will last a lifetime.
The purpose of the service dog will perform a test that can connect to the owner’s disability. Often, service dogs have lots of tasks to deliver to, also, to give a lot of love and emotional support to the owner. Most common tasks that are given to the owner is blind people, deaf people, or calming a person with PTSD.
Service dogs and therapy dogs are expensive, but if you think that it is worth it, a service dog can easily save your family member’s life or bring a dementia family member home. Love your dog like your family as he is also your family.
Tony is the owner of Petpetbuy.com, the pet-parent of two dogs, and he is also an active animal rescuer. He works with multiple non-governmental organisations which work towards providing aid to homeless dogs and cats.