New Years is a time for reflection and resolutions Most people think about the usual things: losing weight, learning to live in the moment, etc. but our mission is to encourage disabled individuals who use Service Dogs to leave nothing but an excellent impression. Here are 10 ways to be a better Service Dog team in the coming year. 1) Be polite and make an effort to educate others if you can If you've been partnered with a Service Dog long enough, chances are excellent that you will have run into an access challenge, someone who is rude, secretly (or openly) jealous that you have your dog with you — or just behaves awkwardly toward you or your canine partner. Perhaps they'll ask invasive questions. If you have an invisible disability, they may wonder aloud why "you don't look disabled" or even openly confront you. Chances are they have never met a Service Dog team before. It's possible that they have an image in their mind of what a disabled person with a Service Dog should look like. While having a Service Dog does not also require you to take on the role of Public Educator (and nor does everyone have time, especially when you're tired of being confronted the third time in one day) it's important to leave an excellent impression. Remember, it takes only moment to leave an excellent impression — or to do the opposite. Always remember that you only get one shot at making a first impression. Be aware that your impression upon others, again likely being their first and only interaction with a team, can directly affect your rights later. The impression you leave with the public can directly impact your rights as a team, as well as the treatment you and other Service Dog teams receive in the future from both people on the street and businesses alike. Going further, the impression you leave can directly or indirectly affect change on the laws that govern you in your state or even at a federal level. Be kind, be courteous, and treat others as you want to be treated. You may be in a rush, but the decision to partner with a Service Dog comes with responsibilities, so you should always strive to be a better Service Dog team than you were yesterday, last month or last year. You just want to get out of the store, but taking one
Autumn is well under way and much of the country is awash in color, leaves and crisp air. The beautiful fall conditions make things just perfect for taking a stroll with your Service Dog or Service Dog in Training! Enjoying a walk together isn’t much fun, though, if it’s a constant battle. Here are 5 training tools to help you teach loose leash walking so that everyone can enjoy the nice weather!
In the United States, every Service Dog handler enjoys the right to travel with their Service Dog. However, finding straightforward information about airline policies and requirements, international laws, TSA regulations, security checkpoints, and other commonly encountered situations isn't easy! To help you prepare you for your trip, we've compiled Service Dog travel tips, tricks, hacks, guidelines, and resources. Terminology note: U.S. Federal law includes miniature horses in the list of allowable Assistance Animal species. Miniature horses trained as Assistance Animals usually provide either guide services or brace and mobility support. Since the majority of Assistance Animal handlers partner with a dog, we usually utilize the term "Service Dog" instead of the more universal "Service Animal." However, any time you see "Service Dog," you could replace it with "Miniature Guide Horse" or "Brace and Mobility Support Horse" seamlessly. Miniature horse users possess identical public access rights to Service Dog teams. Airlines Updated Service Dog and ESA Policies Several Years Ago Throughout the course of 2018, nearly every major domestic airline updated their Service Dog travel policies. Most airlines designed their new protocols to crack down on people using legal loopholes to transport untrained or unsuitable dogs free of charge in the cabin. As such, many of the new rules differ greatly from the "old" airline Service Dog requirements. This is particularly true concerning Emotional Support Animals (ESAs). Many airlines now require an extensive, multi-step approval process for Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals. Some airlines outline different rules or behavioral expectations for different types of Service Dogs. As an example, American Airlines requires Psychiatric Service Dogs to meet the Emotional Support Animal (ESA) requirements instead of the standard Service Dog requirements. Learn More About how Service Animals, Therapy Dogs, and Emotional Support Animals Differ Other types of professional working dogs, like Search and Rescue Dogs and Police K9s, often fly under an airline's established Service Dog policy. However, that's far from universal -- airline working dog policies range from nonexistent to clearly defined with everything in between! All handlers should confirm their airline's Working K9 or Service Dog travel policy several days prior to flying. Airlines accept Service Dogs in Training (SDiTs) at their own discretion. Service Dnimals in Training are not covered by the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and therefore have no legal rights to fly under any Service Animal policy. Some airlines provide better SDiT policies than others. Service Dog Definitions and Requirements Vary Widely In addition to tightening the rules for
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.
Service Dogs and Assistance Dogs aren’t the only dogs in the world who do amazing, life-changing work, but they are one of the few types of working dogs clearly defined and protected by United States federal law. Too many people don’t understand the differences between many types of working dogs, though, and it’s time to clear up some of the confusion.
It's that time of year again: Christmas is over! You may be looking for new ways to spoil your dog in the new year and there are many things to do to make them feel special, now that you have some more time to spend focusing on them. It's important not to forget your furry friend during the mew year! In this blog post, we'll be discussing five great ideas on how you can ensure your pup doesn't feel left out. Ways of Keeping Your Dog Happy in the New Year 1. Ensure Your Dog is Well-Groomed One of the best ways to ensure your dog doesn't get left out is by grooming them. There's nothing worse than a pet that looks unkempt during one of the most festive times of the year, so you must keep up with their grooming routine. This includes: Brushing their teeth Trimming their nails Keeping them clean overall An excellent way to ensure your dog always looks its best is using quality pet shampoo. Not only will this keep your pup clean, but it will also leave them smelling wonderful. 2. Prepare Some Treats The best types of treats you can get for your pup are ones that promote healthy eating habits. These include natural dog chews, which support a healthy lifestyle and taste delicious. Your dog will love getting treats like these during the new year, and you'll love knowing that they're good for them! 3. Get Them a New Toy Why not get your dog one of the new toys that were released for Christmas last year that now have a discounted price in the January sales? There are many types of toys available for you. It can be hard to know which one is right for your pup. One of the best toys you can get your dog during this time is a plush toy. These types of toys are great because they're soft and cuddly, making them perfect for snuggling with on those cold nights. 4. Get Them a New Bed Your dog deserves the best, and that includes their fancy new bed. You can find some great products on eBay or Amazon that your pup will love. Another type of bed you might want to consider getting your dog is a memory foam bed. They are comfortable and reduce pressure points and relieve pain in your pup's joints. 5. Take Them for a Walk One of the best things you can do to keep
As a dog owner, you may find yourself facing many challenges. You have to feed your dog well and ensure it gets plenty of exercises, but did you know that there are other things you need to watch out for? One common problem for pedigree dogs is inbreeding. This can lead to health issues down the line. This blog post will discuss some of the potential problems with pedigree dogs and what owners can do about it! Problems for Owners of Pedigree Dogs Inbreeding The most common issue with pedigree dogs is inbreeding. Inbreeding occurs when the same pair of animals breed together repeatedly over a short period. This can lead to undesirable changes within the gene pool of an animal population. These deviations are harmful and cause problems for the entire lineage, leading to health issues. Pedigree dogs are particularly susceptible to inbreeding because of the small gene pools used to create them. Hip Dysplasia Another common problem is hip dysplasia when the joints between the ball and socket get deformed or malformed. These dogs often suffer from severe arthritis later on in life, making movement difficult and painful. Although some breeds are more prone to hip dysplasia than others, all species can be victims. Eye Problems Many pedigree dogs are also prone to various eye problems. These can include progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and glaucoma. All of these conditions can lead to blindness if left untreated. Skin Disorders Many pedigree dogs also suffer from skin disorders. This can be due to various reasons, such as allergies, environmental factors, and genetics. Some common skin disorders include dermatitis, seborrhea, and mange. Heart Problems The trouble with the heart is also common among pedigree dogs. These problems may include congenital defects, infectious cardiomyopathy, and various heart conditions. The most common heart problem in dogs is subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), which reduces the blood flow to the heart. SAS can lead to sudden death if left untreated. Cancer Cancer is also common among pedigree dogs. One type of cancer that has become more prevalent in recent years is hemangiosarcoma, which affects the blood vessels within an organ or tissue and often leads to internal bleeding and tumor development. Other forms of cancer that are particularly prevalent in pedigree dogs include lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and mammary carcinoma. How Can I Help My Pedigree Dog? There are a few things you can do to help your pedigree dog stay healthy. Consider enrolling your dog in a
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
The holiday season is a perfect excuse to grab some hot chocolate and snuggle up on the couch with your Service Dog, Working Dog or pet! Here are some of our favorites that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. 1. A Dog Named Christmas A Dog Named Christmas tells the story of Todd, a developmentally delayed 20 year old, who loves animals. When Todd hears that the local animal shelter wants to adopt dogs out for Christmas, Todd is right on board, much to the dismay of his father George. With persistence Todd is eventually given permission to bring home a yellow lab he names Christmas. Little does the family know that Christmas will change their life forever. Check out the trailer here. Rating: PG Length: 1:35 Year: 2009 2. Beethoven's Christmas Adventure Photo Credit: IMBdOur favorite Saint Bernard is back in Beethoven's Christmas Adventure. When Santa's sleigh crashes in a small town and the magic toy bag is stolen, it's up to Beethoven to find the bag and return it to Santa in time for Christmas. Sure to be a family favorite. Watch the trailer here. Rating: PG Length: 1:30 Year: 2011 3. The 12 Dogs of Christmas The 12 Dogs of Christmas takes place in 1931 in Maine during the Depression and tells the story of a young girl named Emma who uses 12 special dogs to show everyone the true meaning of Christmas. Watch the trailer here. Rating: G Length: 1:42 Year: 2005 4. 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue The 12 Dogs of Christmas was followed by a sequel titled 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue. Emma is back again, but this time follows her quest to save a local puppy orphanage, by putting on a big holiday event. Watch the trailer here. Rating: PG Length: 1:42 Year: 2012 5. Buddies Movies As a follow up to the classic Air Bud movies, Disney released three different buddies movies that the kids will love! The titles are: Santa Buddies (2009), The Search for Santa Paws (2010) and Santa Paws 2 (2012). Click on each of the titles to watch the trailer for each of these movies. Rating: G Length: Varies Year: 2010 6. The Dog Who Saved Christmas When the Bannister's welcome a new dog named Zeus into their home, he doesn't appear to be the guard dog that the family is looking for. But when two burglars break into their house when they are away for the holidays, Zeus sets out to
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!