Are you or someone you love is in need of an extra pair of eyes and ears? Is your elderly mother in need of emotional support while you are not there during the day?
Whatever your needs might be, it sounds like a service dog might be the perfect addition to your family. If you are unsure whether or not your disability is extreme enough to have a dog around, decide whether your day-to-day life would become easier and safer with the help of an animal. If the answer is yes, then you should definitely adopt a puppy.
How to get a dog?
Getting a service dog does not happen immediately. There must be a good fit between you and the dog, one that is specifically trained to cater to your disability. Puppies also go through training for obedience, personalized needs, and advanced disability service. This takes a lot of time, but if you are willing to invest in the system and training, you will have a dependable companion and service provider in your animal.
What is a service dog?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service pet is defined as a dog that has been trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. The tasks are dependent on to the person’s disability. Simply put, the dog is trained to carry out a specific action when needed to assist the person with a disability. For example, a person with depression may have a puppy that is trained to remind them to take their medication.
There are a few things that a service dog trainer wants you to know about service animals.
Below we will point out just a few of the most important.
- Service dogs can be any breed, size, and color.
Not only German shepherd, Golden Retrievers, and Labradors make good service dogs. While these three are among the most common breeds, any dog with the proper temperament, good structure, and physical capabilities can do the job their owners need them to do. So, if you see a Frenchie on the street with a harness saying “SERVICE DOG” do not be surprised. Emotional support, therapy animals, and other service dogs come in all colors, sizes, and breeds.
- Service animals come in multiple varieties.
Most people have heard of service dogs that help deaf individuals navigate around town. However, hearing dogs are not the only kind of service animals available out there. Some include but are not limited to: allergy alert dogs, brace & mobility support dogs, guide dogs, emergency medical response dogs, medical alert & assistance dogs, medical response dogs, diabetic alert dogs, psychiatric dogs, autism assistance dogs, seizure alert dogs, seizure assistance dogs, seizure response dogs, visual assistance dogs, and much more.
- Service dogs perform specialized tasks for their persons.
Service animals possess specialized training that serves their owner’s disability. Some examples include identify hallucinations, balance assistance, signal for certain sounds, interrupt and redirect, find a person or place, room search, bring help, clear airway, respond to changes in the handler’s psychology or surrounding environment, bracing an unsteady handler, licking a seizing person to help end the seizure, waking someone from a nightmare, and more.
- Service animals are not required to have paperwork nor special gear.
In the states, a dog is a service dog regardless of what they are or are not wearing. The law also does not require documentation, registration, and certification paperwork. All of the things mentioned so far are optional, and while offered by many dog trainers, they are NOT necessary.
Service animals should never be obtrusive, disorderly, rude, or out of control. In fact, if the dog is any of the above and the owner does not take appropriate action to rectify the issue, the place of public accommodation or business may ask him or her to remove the animal. But with the help of a trustworthy service dog trainer, you can easily fix these issues, or prevent them from occurring if you have your puppy trained in this facility in the first place.