Rules exist for a reason and when it comes to service dogs and service dog law, some have come to view them more as "guidelines." Whether it's someone who wishes they could take their dog everywhere or those who deny access to properly trained service dog teams, both groups harm the service dog and disabled community as a whole. Most people love their dogs, and usually, when someone tells a service dog team they meet in public that they'd like to know how to make their dog a service dog, their likely intent isn't malicious or meant to be hurtful. Nonetheless, it's a poorly thought-out aspiration. It's similar to saying, "no offense," before insulting someone. This issue is far more complex than it seems on the surface, especially when it comes to able-bodied people who actually carry out their wishes by faking service dog status with their pets. Read on to learn more about what you're insinuating by wishing for a Service Dog if you're not disabled, how masquerading pets as Service Dogs is not only extremely disrespectful, but also harmful, and some important points to consider about service dog partnership and the service dog community. Service Dog Handlers Are, By Definition, Disabled First, per U.S. federal law and the ADA, Service dog handlers must be disabled. Service Dogs perform tasks that their disabled owners would otherwise have difficulty completing on their own. If you do not have a disability, then you do not qualify for a service dog. Period. End of story. Full stop. There are no exceptions. By expressing a desire for a service dog, you're also wishing for the accompanying disability. For a disabled person, hearing an able-bodied person openly wish for a disability (even if you don't actually say those words) is deeply hurtful. It suggests you don't take them or their disability seriously and furthermore, it makes light of the thousands of hours of training and socialization their partner has undergone to perform his job. From time to time, when disabled service dog handlers or service dog trainers are out in public, they're approached by someone with a wistful look and a story about how their dog would be "just perfect!" for service dog work. They wish they could take their dog everywhere, too, but there's one problem: they don't understand that the right to be accompanied by a fully-trained service dog comes with a cascading pile of problems
When you first bring home a new Service Dog candidate, it's easy to become overwhelmed at the sheer volume of "stuff" that needs to be mastered. While every Service Dog's end job may vary, there are foundational behaviors and concepts every working dog should know, no matter his or her specialty. Teams should be adept at skills in addition to the ones presented below (this list is not at all all-inclusive), but these are, without a doubt, the first five skills you should teach any Service Dog in Training.
Almost everyone knows it takes a lot of training to become a Service Dog, but few people know how much training or what kind of training. Service Dog training includes several areas of study and can take lots of time. Continue reading to learn more about the types of training Service Dogs require
Many people have a vague sense of awareness that Service Dogs "help" their person and that they're allowed to be in public, but there's a lot more to Service Dog handlers and teams than meets the eye.
When it comes to Service Dogs or Service Dogs in Training with public access, there are definite things Service Dogs in public should and should not do. Learn more about how well-trained Service Dogs should appear and what U.S. Service Dog law says about dogs who don't quite possess the skills necessary to safely work in public
Although many people know that you are not supposed to pet Service Dogs when they are working, few understand the reasoning behind this rule. Even fewer people realize that you should not DISTRACT an assistance dog in ANY WAY.
There has been a lot of talk about vaccinations lately. People are arguing whether or not they are necessary, questioning if they harm children and adults and what happens after you are vaccinated. It’s difficult because the facts are often treated as if they're up for debate. They are not. Vaccinations are overwhelmingly positive and extremely beneficial for our society. But how important is it to vaccinate your pet? Statistics are showing that not only are people refraining vaccinating themselves and their kids, they are choosing to keep their pets from being vaccinated as well. While it may be up to an individual whether or not they want to be vaccinated themselves, it is irresponsible when people don’t vaccinate their children and pets who cannot choose to make that decision for themselves. The Decline of Pet Vaccinations The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled the anti-vaccination movement the top threat to global health. This may seem like an over-exaggeration, but it it’s really not. Modern medicine and the health of our society has depended upon vaccinations to mitigate diseases like measles and polio, and this is at risk when people avoid vaccinations. The decline of vaccinations doesn’t just concern humans — now some pet owners are choosing not to vaccinate their animals either. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance has reported that the number of pet vaccinations have gone down, and they worry that this threat will continue to affect animals. Even the American Veterinary Medical Association has made a statement saying that vaccines prevent millions of animal diseases and deaths every year. The annual report from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals surveyed over 4,600 pet owners. The study found that about a quarter of dogs, or 2.2 million, were not vaccinated as puppies. The people said that the most common reason they did not vaccinate their dog was that it "isn’t necessary." This couldn’t be further from the truth. Vaccinations have already prevented the spread of disease and now that is being put at risk. It may be difficult to convince people to get vaccinations, but we can start by encouraging people to vaccinate their pets. Vaccines & Pet Insurance Many people avoid vaccinations because of the cost. If your pet is not insured, it can become very expensive according to MoneyPug, a site used to compare pet insurance. If you have pet insurance, you may be more inclined to visit the vet which
It’s time to look for your next Service Dog. What traits should you look for? What's important? What doesn't matter? There is a sea of misinformation that a Service Dog handler must sort through while picking a Service Dog puppy or candidate. Cut through the chaos and learn what what to look for while selecting a potential partner.
Brace and Mobility Support Dogs are a type of Service Dog trained to provide their disabled handler with assistance moving from place to place. This invaluable service is matched only by these dogs’ ability to also help with other chores and tasks, like opening doors or retrieving dropped items. Due to the unique nature of their work, though, Brace and Mobility Support Dogs have special needs. Read on to learn more!