There are different ways to determine if a pup has the potential to do greater things from a young age. Doggies are definitely man’s best friend, but they can also be a support system for those who have special needs that even humans are just not enough. There are many ways to train and assess your most beloved companion.
First of all, how do we do know if they have the potential? We can base it on their attention span and how they follow complex orders when they are about 6 months old. It is hard to find the right doggy to train, some companies have a high drop-out rate for their trainees because at the end of the process it comes down to saving lives. On top of their intelligence, we have to consider their health as well. Strong support is good support, that would imply multiple check-ups throughout the year with board-certified veterinarians. They will check their x-ray, blood work, eyesight, patellar subluxation, genetic conditions, and more.
It doesn’t stop there, social skills are also important the doggy should be confident and adapt to new environments and various types of people. If it is anxious or timid that could lead to a dangerous situation for the dog and for the human. Being overly territorial is also something to look out for as it may gradually lead to aggression.
Next, how to start the process of training a service dog and can you do it on your own? Absolutely, training yourself can be expensive and could take years, but not impossible. That kind of training can actually make your bond stronger and develop trust and respect for each other easily. There are also tons of different organizations that can help you out if you unable to do it yourself.
In training, dogs must learn basic commands such as:
Navigate doors or drawers
Quick to prevent falls
Knowing how to do switches, like lights or specific buttons
Fetch specific items on command
Identify allergens, low and high blood sugar levels
Vocalize during emergencies
Always be alert for any symptoms
Quick-thinking in dangerous situations
Always be mindful of the owner’s condition
Provide support in getting on and off vehicles
Service doggies are required to be neutered, because females will have a hard time working when in heat, not only by her body condition but with males not being able to resist mating with her. Males also have tendencies to be diverted by territorial issues and we all know neutered dogs are less aggressive which is a key factor for service dogos.
We all know seeing a dog in the store or in public can be so exciting and we are very tempted to touch and interact with them, but we have to be careful and ask the owner first if it is okay to pet the doggy. Service dogs are trained to focus on the owner at all times, some medical conditions need around-the-clock care, so petting them may lead to distraction and that could end badly for the owner if an issue does arise. This also goes for other animals or pets. Check first if they have a vest or something that indicates they are on duty, some owners allow it and some don’t so it’s better to just admire them from afar or pet them if allowed.
Here are some disabilities that may require a service doggy.
Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome
At the end of the day, a doggy is just a doggy, We also have to find the balance between work and time off. During leisure time it is best to keep on training your dog, but with more cuddles and playtimes to give your pup a way to distress as well! It’s not an easy job, but dogs are such intelligent and amazing creatures that they make the process more fun and worthwhile!