One Size Does Not Fit All: SMALL Breeds That Serve
“Oh, how cute, look at that face! Sooo adooorable.” For the disabled who use small service dogs, these endearments are unfortunately not met with the appreciative responses one might expect from a small dog owner. To a Service Dog owner their small and often ‘height-challenged’ wee ones are far from being “just another pretty face.”
San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department to Host USAR Canine Training Event
Are you looking for training for your search dog in a real USAR environment? Look no further than the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department Search Dog Team's upcoming Urban Search and Rescue K9 training event and fundraiser, Dia de los Perros. The event is scheduled for on October 26th, 2019, at the historic George Air Force Base in Adelanto, California. The USAR training event will provide training opportunities for both live find search dogs and human remains detection K9s. Teams will rotate between 6 stations with multiple search problems each. Stations include a haunted hospital, ruined buildings, and burned-out neighborhoods, plus other unique search and rescue K9 training opportunities. The SBSD Search Dog Team website sums up the training locations perfectly: The Historic George Air Force Base is located on registries of abandoned places, and features multiple office buildings, base housing (both apartments and neighborhoods of houses), barracks, and supporting clinics and a hospital, all in a ruined environment closely approximating an actual disaster scenario. The two-story hospital plus basement is rumored to be haunted and is a treasure trove of hiding places for dog training. Housing structures are both (somewhat) intact or burned and completely ruined, allowing dogs to train in multiple types of scent conditions. The SBSD Search Dog Team provides subjects to hide and human remains source. They'll also coordinate the search problems and hope to provide additional educational stations. Only 30 teams are allowed to participate, although auditor spots are available. The event will run from 8 am to 5 pm with lunch included. Search Dog teams wishing to participate in the first annual Dia de los Perros Search and Rescue K9 training event should contact Julie Purcell via email at jkirkpurcell at sbsar dot org. Include the following information when emailing: Your Name Agency Affiliation Discipline (Live Find or HRD) Contact Email Contact Phone number Contact Mailing Address
Distractions, Service Dogs, and Public Access
Some variation of the "DO NOT DISTRACT" patch regularly appears on Service Dog vests, jackets, and harnesses. However, Service Dog handlers still report that members of the public frequently ignore the patch. Distracting a Service Dog is dangerous for both the dog and handler. Frequently, though, people don't know what distracts Service Dogs! Keep reading to learn more about distractions, Service Dogs, and how to avoid causing problems for working Service Dog teams you see in public. Every Service Dog handler, trainer, and puppy raiser has dozens of stories about members of the public distracting their Service Dog or Service Dog in Training (SDiT). Dog lovers often see a Service Dog working in a store and want to engage with the dog or handler. Many don't realize, though, that touching, talking to, making noises at, or offering food to a Service Dog is not only annoying but can also be dangerous. Distracted Service Dogs pull their focus away from their handler and their job to focus on the person engaging them. For some teams, even a split-second shift in focus can result in falls, injury, or other issues. What's the Rule About Interacting With Service Dogs? A simple rule exists for engaging Service Dogs in public: don't. Avoid talking to them. Don't use a baby voice or make kissy sounds. Don't crouch down or try to make them look at you. Resist petting them without explicit permission from the handler. Don't offer food, treats, tidbits, or toys. Don't block their way or try to scare them. Basically, pretend the Service Dog doesn't exist and you'll be doing just fine. Everything someone does that is intended to get a reaction from the dog counts as a distraction. The solution is simple: just let the Service Dog work in peace. Engage directly with the handler if necessary for everyday interaction or business. What Are Common Distractions? Service Dog Distractions: Touch and Petting Americans tend to be a bunch of dog-loving people. Many people enjoy interacting with dogs and like petting them. When these people see a dog in public they often assume the dog is friendly and immediately reach out to pet or touch them. One of the most common complaints Service Dog handlers and trainers voice is that people ignore their "DO NOT PET" patch. They often report that people ignore the patch no matter how big or brightly colored it appears! Touching, petting or patting Service Dogs
5 Tips for Attending School with Your Service Dog
It’s that time of year again, back to school! As you are hurrying around getting all of your school supplies in order and planning for the year ahead, make sure that you spend some time making sure your Service Dog is all set-up for the new school year as well.
Miniature Horses as Service Animals
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) allows two types of animals to serve as Service Animals: dogs and miniature horses. Read on to learn more about mini horses as Service Animals! Miniature horses are small, sturdy horses ranging in size from 26" to 38" tall. They can weigh 55 to 200 pounds, and they come in a variety of colors and patterns. These hardworking little animals are easy to keep and maintain. Minis possess a sweet-natured and docile, and many showcase high levels of intelligence. What Type of Service Do Miniature Horses Provide? Miniature horses are best known for their work as guide animals, but they also make excellent mobility assistance animals. They've been experimentally used for guide work since 1999 with outstanding results. Mini horses are less common mobility Service Animals than dogs, but for a variety of reasons, they're an excellent candidate. Guide Horses, the premier training organization of miniature horses as Service Animals, notes "In early experiments, Guide Horses have shown great promise as a mobility option, and people who have tried Guide Horses report that the Guide Horses perform exceptionally well at keeping their person safe." Other Working Jobs Miniature Horses Do Miniature Horses also commonly work as therapy animals, as they're very gentle, interactive, and intuitive. The best known mini horse animal assisted therpay program in the U.S. is Gentle Carousel Therapy Horses. Teams of tiny Gentle Carousel horses visit over 25,000 adults and children each year inside hospitals, hospice programs, and with families, veterans and first responders who have experienced traumatic events. Finally, there's been some exploration into utilizing mini horses in search and rescue. Air Scenting Horses has successfully trained at least one mini to the standards required by the National Association For Search and Rescue for human remains detection. Experts have trained many full sized horses for detection jobs, and miniature horses possess many of the same traits. Requirements for Mini Horses as Service Animals Like any Service Animal, miniature horses must possess a sound temperament and good structure before being considered for service work. They must be individually trained to meet their person's needs, and their person must be considered disabled as defined by U.S. federal law. Miniature Horses who work in public require extensive desensitization so they're able to work calmly through distractions. Horses can be naturally spooky, so socialization ranks high on the list of requirements. In addition to the public access training, the mini horse requires house training and task training. What
Why Do Service Dogs Wear Vests?
We've all seen a Service or Assistance Dog walking around a store or restaurant wearing a vest or jacket. Most people assume all Service Dogs wear vests, but that's not true. Federal law doesn't even require Service Dogs to wear a vest and yet, almost all of them do. Keep reading to find out why! Service Dog Vests For Identification First and foremost, most Service Dogs wear a vest for identification purposes. A Service Dog's vest is chock full of information. Each team has different needs, so vests are often unique, but common information includes: Where the dog comes from, if they're program trained ("Four Paws For Ability") Any sponsors, if the team fundraised for the Service Dog Dog's name, if the handler feels like sharing Type of Service Dog ("Medical Assistance Dog") Service Dog Vests For Function Many teams use their Service Dog's vest to carry important documentation or vaccinations records, medication, or husbandry items like cleanup bags or treats. Allergen Alert Dog teams often have an epi-pen or other lifesaving medication in a pouch. Mobility teams often have vests that allow forward pulling momentum assistance or counterbalance. Service Dog Vests For Communication Most Service Dog vests communicate valuable, important, or helpful information. Many handlers, especially those who are nonverbal or who have social anxiety, rely on their patches to communicate for them. Most teams find that patches with legal information on them reduce access challenges. Type of interactions with the dog allowed ("No Talk, No Touch, No Eye Contact") Legal rights ("Access Required by Federal Law") Rules or guidelines for emergency interactions ("In Event of Emergency, Do Not Separate Dog From Handler") Anything else the handler or program deems necessary Instructions for assisting handler ("Epipen in Pouch") Service Dog Vests For Self-Expression Service Dog vests can be custom-made or off the shelf. They're available in thousands of colors, color combinations, patterns, designs, and fits. There's a limitless number of patches, including fandom or themed Service Dog patches. Lots of teams, especially owner-trainer Service Dog teams, value unique, funny, or quippy patches. Some collect patches that say things like, "I'm a Service Dog, not a magical unicorn!" or "I'm a Patronus." A Service Dog's vest offers a great avenue for self-expression. Some teams have several vests for a variety of purposes.
What Does A Balanced Diet Really Mean For Working Dogs?
Like human beings, animals also need proper diet and nutrients. All dogs need a balanced diet, but working dogs often have a more active lifestyle than the average pet. It's vital they get the nutrition they need. It's important to provide a certain combination of fats, minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins, and water every day to function normally. Feeding your dog healthy food requires a proper understanding of what dog food is suitable for their health. Learn what a balanced diet really means for dogs. Reading the labels on your dog food can help you choose the best balanced diet for your dog for each specific stage of their life. Pet food manufacturers can also provide hypoallergenic nutrition to control particular health conditions like kidney and heart diseases. Every nutrient in dog’s food plays an essential role in the development. Without adequate nutrients, your dog would not be able to build and repair muscles, bones, and teeth. They may not perform daily activities with ease. Fats provide them energy, help to keep their skin and hair coat healthy and shiny, also improve their brain functioning. Minerals and vitamins are necessary for nerve conduction and muscle contraction, and they also work to prevent disease. Carbohydrate is a source of quick energy and activeness. Proteins provide energy and help with muscles growth and functioning. If you want to learn more about the needs and proper and balanced diet of your pet you can visit zooawesome.com 1. What is a Healthy Dog Diet? There is a common question that every pet owner ask that a wide variety of dog foods available in the market which they should buy for pets. Nutritional diet is a critical component for dogs, and what you choose to feed them is not a decision that you can take lightly. Generally, there are two types of foods when it comes to selecting a healthy dog diet commercially available vs. home-prepared food. In the commercially available menu, there are several canned foods and variety of kibbles and some raw-diets. On the other side, in a home-prepared diet, there are raw feeding and home-cooked are available. 2. Commercially Available Dog Diets Most people prefer canned food and kibble. When you are buying food for your pet, keep one thing in mind that dogs love to eat meat. If you are not sure about what your pet likes to eat, look at the dog's teeth. Dogs that have canines they are
3 Reasons Your Puppy Isn’t Housetraining Quickly
Everyone wants their puppy to housetrain quickly. For Service Dogs in Training, progression relies on housetraining. Until an SDiT has reliable potty habits, public access training often proves difficult or impossible. If you're trying to make quick progress with potty training, make sure you're not making these common mistakes. You're Not Using a Schedule When a puppy gets up at the same time every day, eats on a schedule, and goes out on a schedule, housetraining becomes much easier. Not only can you predict when the puppy needs to go outside, but the puppy learns that an opportunity to go out happens regularly and they start to wait for it. Set up a schedule for your Service Dog in Training as soon as possible. Your puppy should come out of the crate and go to bed at roughly the same time every day. Meals and training sessions should occur at regular times. Puppies need daily exercise, grooming, and interaction, so pencil those in, too. You're Not Keeping Them Focused Puppies enjoy playing. If you simply put a puppy outdoors and then bring them in, oftentimes, you'll find a surprise on the floor shortly after! To prevent the "I took them out but they came inside and pottied" problem, take your puppy outside on a leash. Keep them on the leash and focused on business until they potty. Afterward, remove the leash and play. Business before play. Remember that puppies need to go outside first thing of the morning and just before bed, as well as after meals and during any changes in activity. You're Not Controlling Intake Fee feeding a puppy and leaving water down all the time is one of the top causes of house training issues. Feed your puppy on a schedule. What goes in must come out, so with time, you'll be able to predict when your puppy needs to go out. Pick up all water 2-3 hours before bed so your puppy has plenty of time to go potty before going to sleep for the night. Very young puppies might need an extra trip outdoors during the night, but older puppies are more than capable of sleeping through the night.