Did you know that there are service dogs that are professionally trained to take care of people suffering from anxiety?
Or even a psychiatric disorder, or visually impaired and physically disabled persons. Among many things, these service dogs undergo training for reducing anxiety in the owner. Few Tibetan Mastiffs are working as service dogs, but a well trained TM can have the role of a service dog, especially for family members. A service dog needs to be of a non-dangerous breed, and it is recommended that it is de-sexed.
What Is Service Dog Training?
Okay, let us have a better understanding of what a service dog actually is, and how they are being trained.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the standard definition for service dog training stated by the AKC, service dogs are individually trained by professional dog assistance dog organizations and relevantly qualified trainers to aid and assist individuals with a disability.
Service Dogs Or Assistance Dogs
Are service dogs only reserved for psychiatric services? No, the spectrum is broad:
• Guide dogs: Trained to assist blind people or visually impaired people.
• Hearing dogs, also known as signal dogs: Trained to help deaf people or people with a hearing impairment.
Mobility Assistance Dogs
• Autism assistance dogs: Trained to assist people with autism and thus help them in gaining independence.
Are Facility Dogs And Therapy Dogs The Same?
No, they are not. There are some similarities between them, like aiding people with health conditions, but the difference between service and therapy dogs outweighs the similarities.
About Facility Service Dogs
Facility Dogs are:
• Trained by accredited assistance dog organizations.
• Handled by different types of working professionals and people in varying sectors.
• Require rigorous training that lasts 18-24 months by qualified canine professionals.
• Need to graduate from an assistance dog organization and hold a relevant training certification.
• Taking challenging tests to become approved Facility dogs.
Therapy Dog Requirements
• Their owners themselves can train them.
• Must be handled by their owners.
• Undergo a much less rigorous training session.
• Enrollment for therapy dogs in an obedience training program is not mandatory to be registered by a therapy dog organization.
• Tests undertaken by Therapy dogs are not as challenging as the ones taken by their counterparts.
Still confused over the difference between service dogs, working dogs, ESAs, and therapy dogs? Yes, it can get a little confusing; read this article about service and therapy support dogs by the AKC.
Can You Train A Dog To Help With Anxiety?
• Choose the right breed and dog: Okay, we don’t want to be mean, but every dog and breed cannot be a service dog because their temperament is not required for a service dog. So be alert while choosing a breed for dog training for anxiety.
The Right Temperament Of A Service Dog
• What is the right temperament? The right temperament desired from a service dog is being calm in unusual situations, being alert but not too reactive, a social dog with a willingness to serve, handle different environments and situations, high ability to learn and retain information. Yes, potential service dogs will also undergo temperament screening tests at the institutes. This means that a Tibetan Mastiffs are not necessarily the ideal Therapy or Service dog.
• Determine the dog’s service: So why did we previously ask you to choose the right breed? It is because of this point. You cannot expect a Papillon or a Poodle to be mobility assistance dogs, because they won’t be able to pull a wheelchair, right? Similarly, the ideal role for a Saint Bernard, Great Dane, or Bernese as a service dog is mobility assistance dogs. Poodles, Papillons, and Corgis are better as hearing dogs or psychiatric assistance dogs than the giant breeds. Now, we understand why the breed and role of the service dog are so important, right?
• Socialization and essential skills: For service dogs, socialization skills are important as the sauce is in pasta. Also, basic but essential skills like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ ‘move,’ ‘come.’
Any Trained Service Dogs Near Me?
• Do you want a service dog for assistance? Or does someone you know need a service dog for assistance? If that is the case, you can always hire a service dog from reputed dog assistance training agencies and breeders.
• Hire a reputable trainer or enroll your dog in an assistance training organization: If you want your dog to be a certified Facility dog, it needs professional training and a certificate, right? Know how to choose a professional dog trainer or breeder. Depending on the type of job or service you want your dog to perform, the training cost can range from $15,000 to $50,000.
Train A Service Dog For Anxiety
• Service dog training for anxiety; okay not just for anxiety but also for any particular role and job, potential service dogs need to be trained at least 120 hours over 6 months and at least 30 hours of those spent in public training. Who said this? These are standardized international service dog requirements.
• Train it yourself: If you find the fees for dog training for anxiety as a service dog too high, then maybe you can opt to train your dog yourself. But do not get it registered as a Facility service dog or official service dog, or else you can incur a penalty for false representation by misusing service dogs.
Service Dog ID And Prices
• It does not always have to be as costly as $25,000 to train your service dog. There is also certified intensive service dog training for anxiety courses that can be completed in only 10 weeks and do not cost more than $400; sounds good?
• To understand and clear other significant queries of yours related to the training of service dogs, read the FAQs answered by the official ADA site authorities.
What Causes Anxiety In Dogs?
It can be caused by separation anxiety, which is relatively common in many dog breeds.
The next is anxiety due to fear from loud noises, strangers, hostile animals, situations that your dog dislikes like being at the vet.
The third type is not well-known, but it is related to the aging of a dog.
How To Treat An Anxious Dog?
So how do we treat and ease the anxiety of an anxious dog?
• Service dogs that have undergone dog training for anxiety are among the best candidates to calm their fellow canine buddies down. Some dogs are trained for this specific purpose, where the service dog helps other dogs.
• Behavioral training
• Obedience Training
• Massage therapy
• Socialization with other dogs and loving friends of yours, yes, it can work wonders.
• Your dog’s brain’s mental stimulation by bringing new toys, making it work for its treats, giving it puzzle toys, teaching it new tricks; there are even courses like ‘Brain Training for Dogs,’ which is aimed at mentally stimulating your dog.
CBD oils for dogs.
• Use of medications for your dog; this should be the last resort for you—medications like anti-anxiety pills, anti-depressants, and sleeping pills that are meant for dogs, of course.