For seasoned dog handlers, service dog trainers, and experienced dog trainers, the significance of crafting a secure and cozy haven for your canine companions cannot be overstated. Amid your toolkit of training methodologies, crate training stands out as a powerful technique offering a wealth of benefits for both you and your furry partner. In this comprehensive article, we'll delve into recognizing when your dog is primed to outgrow the crate, while also delving deeper into the myriad advantages of skillful crate training. Why Every Dog Needs Crate Training, Especially for Service Dog Training Crate training holds a pivotal role in shaping a structured routine and fostering positive behaviors in dogs, regardless of their roles. In fact, it is an indispensable foundation that every dog should undergo. When it comes to service dog training, this methodology takes on heightened significance. Here's why: Cultivating Calm in Confined Spaces: Service dogs encounter various environments and spaces. Crate training teaches dogs to remain composed in confined areas, a trait invaluable for their duties. Learning the "Place" Command: Crate training lays the groundwork for the "place" command, teaching service dogs to occupy a designated spot and await further cues—an essential skill for public interactions. Imparting Patience and Waiting: Service dogs must be patient and await instructions. Crate training instills this virtue, fostering self-control and aiding in their professional roles. Enhanced Focus and Concentration: Crate training contributes to sharpened focus and concentration, fundamental traits for service dogs navigating demanding scenarios. Experts' Stamp of Approval: Trusted sources like Anything Pawsable, Service Dog Standards, and USSDR.org recommend crate training for service dogs due to its holistic benefits and its role in building a strong foundation. The Array of Benefits Unveiled by Crate Training Beyond its service dog applications, crate training boasts an impressive list of advantages for dogs of all backgrounds: Security and Comfort: A thoughtfully designed crate transforms into a den-like sanctuary, where dogs can seek solace, reflecting their natural instincts. This safe space becomes a retreat during stressful episodes or moments of relaxation. Efficient Housetraining: Crate training accelerates housetraining. Dogs instinctively avoid soiling their living quarters, turning the crate into a powerful tool for instilling proper elimination habits. Warding Off Destructive Behavior: Crates act as deterrents against destructive behavior—be it furniture chewing or accessing hazardous items. This not only shields your possessions but also ensures your dog's well-being. Enhanced Travel Comfort: Travel becomes less daunting for crate-trained dogs. Whether it's
Service dogs are more than just highly trained companions; they are the unwavering support that individuals with disabilities rely on. However, these remarkable animals, like all dogs, can experience discomfort in certain situations. As responsible handlers, it's essential to listen to your service dog and understand their cues. In this article, we'll guide you through recognizing signs of discomfort in your service dog and how to respond appropriately, ensuring a positive experience for both you and your furry companion. Plus, we'll emphasize the significance of adhering to Service Dog Standards, ensuring the best care for your service dog. Listening to Your Dog: How to Tell If Your Service Dog Is Uncomfortable Dogs communicate primarily through body language, and keen observation can provide insights into their emotional state. Here are some signs that your service dog might be uncomfortable: 1. Freezing or Stiffening: If your service dog suddenly becomes still or stiff, it could indicate that they are unsure or uncomfortable with their current surroundings. 2. Avoidance Behavior: If your dog is avoiding eye contact, turning away, or trying to move away from a person or situation, it might be a sign of discomfort. 3. Excessive Panting or Drooling: These physical cues can indicate stress or anxiety in your service dog. 4. Whining, Growling, or Barking: Vocalizations can be a clear sign of your dog's unease. Whining, growling, or barking might be their way of expressing discomfort. 5. Licking Lips or Yawning: Dogs use these calming signals to communicate their stress or unease. Responding Appropriately: What Should You Do? 1. Observe and Assess: Pay attention to your service dog's body language and the context of the situation. Determine what might be causing their discomfort. 2. Remove Them from the Situation: If possible, remove your service dog from the situation causing their discomfort. Create a safe space where they can relax. 3. Offer Positive Reinforcement: Encourage your dog with soothing words, treats, or gentle petting when they exhibit calm behavior in challenging situations. 4. Respect Their Comfort Zone: Just like people, dogs have preferences and limits. Respect their boundaries and avoid pushing them into situations that cause them stress. 5. Training and Exposure: Gradual exposure to different environments and situations can help desensitize your service dog. Make sure this exposure is positive and at their own pace. Upholding Service Dog Standards: Building a Strong Partnership Service dogs are more than pets; they're dedicated working partners. Adhering to Service Dog Standards is key to our partnership's success. These
Service dogs play an invaluable role in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities. These remarkable animals are trained to perform tasks that mitigate their handler's limitations, ensuring greater independence and a higher quality of life. The journey of transforming a young pup into a reliable service dog involves dedication, patience, and effective training techniques. To assist service dog trainers and handlers in this endeavor, we've compiled a list of three engaging and effective dog training games specifically tailored for service dog puppies. 1. Scent Discrimination Game Service dogs often need to differentiate between different scents to perform tasks like alerting to allergens, finding a specific item, or alerting to medical conditions. The scent discrimination game is a playful way to develop your service dog puppy's olfactory abilities. How to Play: Place several small containers, each containing a different scent, on the floor. Start with scents that have distinctive characteristics, such as vanilla, cinnamon, and peppermint. Use scent swabs or cotton balls soaked in essential oils. Allow your puppy to sniff each container and provide a treat or praise when they identify the correct scent. Gradually increase the difficulty by using similar scents or introducing distractions. Why It Works: This game taps into a dog's incredible sense of smell, honing their ability to differentiate scents. As your puppy becomes proficient, these skills can be applied to tasks such as detecting allergens or alerting to specific medical conditions. 2. Retrieval Challenge Service dogs often assist their handlers by retrieving items or assisting with mobility tasks. The retrieval challenge game helps build the foundation for these essential tasks while keeping training fun and engaging. How to Play: Begin by teaching your puppy to retrieve a simple object, like a toy or a cloth. Use positive reinforcement, rewarding them with treats and praise when they successfully bring the item back to you. Gradually increase the complexity by teaching them to pick up different objects by name. Visit servicedogstandards.org for detailed guides on training retrieval skills. Why It Works: Retrieval tasks are fundamental for service dogs, enabling them to assist with a wide range of tasks from picking up dropped items to fetching important objects. This game fosters a strong bond between the puppy and the handler and lays the groundwork for more advanced training. 3. Task Sequence Puzzle Service dogs are trained to perform sequences of actions to complete a task. The task sequence puzzle game helps service dog puppies develop the cognitive
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
People have been made aware of the increased risk that their furry canine friend would be prone to tick-borne diseases in the past years. Most of us are probably aware that ticks numerous diseased is connected to fleas and ticks; nevertheless, you might not be aware that this pest number continues to grow in our surroundings has increased. Consequently, your pets will probably become infected by a flea or tick. Various variables have something to do with the dramatic surge in tick reproduction. Ticks are very active in summer. Therefore, tick-related sickness is primarily distributed during hot seasons. Ticks, however, have been shown to breed year-round in several regions because of warmer temperatures. Furthermore, the continuous growth of our population and the creation of new homes in forested locations increased the potential of tick infestation in our pets. In addition, more people are taking their pets outside in high-trafficked areas, increasing their exposure to parasites. Ticks and fleas can transmit various potentially fatal infections like ehrlichiosis, rocky mountain disease, and much more. Furthermore, Minor complications can happen if not treated promptly and properly, so watch your dog carefully. If you see that your dog is not behaving normally, you need to bring them to the nearest vet so that they can address the condition of your dog. Ticks can infect dogs with serious and sometimes fatal diseases. Continue reading to learn everything about ticks on dogs as well as keeping them safe. What is a Tick? Ticks are a common parasite that feeds on their hosts' blood and can transmit numerous diseases in dogs. Ticks multiply by attaching themselves to the host and then mate to multiply, and larvae emerge from the eggs, at which point they begin looking for your dog. Once this tiny critter attaches to your dog, inserting its mouth parts into your pet's skin, it will begin to feed on your pet's blood flow. Once hooked to your pet's skin, ticks will not leave until they are satisfied, which can take many days. Ticks frequently go for regions with crevasses. This typically comprises ear crevices, inside the legs, in between legs and toes. Ticks are a common pest in lots of places, and eliminating them would be impossible; preventing them from getting in our area is as close to the possible task. Common Types of Ticks in Dogs Below are the most common ticks in dogs. These ticks are the most common
People often believe Service Dogs and ESAs are the same things, with similar access rights. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Emotional Support Animals aren't Service Dogs, they don't have public access, and they don't require specialized training. Keep reading and dig into the nitty-gritty facts about ESAs. Emotional Support Dogs Don't Have Public Access Contrary to popular belief and pop culture, Emotional Support Animals don't possess public access rights. They do not belong in grocery stores, restaurants, or in places of public accommodation. This includes hospitals, doctors offices, pharmacies, and other medical environments. Nothing grants ESAs public access rights, not even a vest or an ID card, because, under U.S. federal law, ESAs do not have public access rights. Period. End of story. ESAs may accompany their handlers only in places where pets are allowed, with a couple of notable exceptions. ESAs Have Access to Housing Both Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals are permitted to live with their handlers under federal housing law. It’s not unusual for a landlord to require a physician letter or other form of documentation from those who use Service Dogs. ESA status does not exempt someone for being responsible for any damages caused by their ESA. ESAs Don't Require Specialized Training Unlike Service Dogs, Emotional Support Animals don't require specialized training however they must be capable of working safely, which means no timidity, no fear, no aggression, no out of control behavior, and no excessive vocalizing. Emotional Support Animals Aren't Service Dogs Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are an important type of working dog, but they are not Service Dogs. Let's say it again for the people in the back -- ESAs differ from Service Dogs. While ESAs add value to their handler's lives, legally, they have the same rights as pets, unlike Service Dogs. Service Dogs receive accommodation under America's disability access laws, whereas ESAs do not. To learn more about the difference between therapy dogs, Service Dogs, ESAs, and other working dogs, check out this article. Emotional Support Animals Are Pets Legally, ESAs are pets. They're allowed in no-pets-housing but outside of that, ESAs are simply pets. Someone gets an ESA when their doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist says animal companionship would benefit them and writes a letter documenting that fact. Most ESAs were simply family pets before their handler obtained a letter of necessity from a medical caregiver. .
It can be difficult to take care of a pet with a terminal illness — and that difficulty is compounded if you are disabled and have a Service Dog. What are some things you should keep in mind if you have a terminally ill pet? Terminal illness is heartbreaking for you as a pet owner. Illness and its symptoms can vary, and for some pets, a terminal disease may be something they live with for many months or years. Particularly if the illness is degenerative, it can make life very difficult for both you and your pet. How can you, as the pet owner, help your pet as much as possible? Here are a few things you can do to make life a little easier for your terminally ill pet. Always Stay Up to Date With All Medications and Other Regimens One of the most important and caring things you can do is to stay up to date with your pet’s medications and any other regimens your veterinarian has prescribed. These are the things that will keep your pet feeling more comfortable in the last chapter of their life. If your veterinarian has prescribed something specific for your pet, make sure you stay up to date with it. Also, if you notice any changes in your pet’s health or behavior you should check with your vet. Avoid Stressing Your Pet Out Unduly Stress can have serious negative health impacts for both humans and pets, and if your pet has a terminal condition, you need to be as careful as possible to avoid stressing your pet out and putting extra difficulties on your pet’s health. Stressing your pet out is something you want to avoid if at all possible. This may mean reducing stressors in your home in general, like giving your pet a quiet space in the house that’s just for them, like a special bed or area. Look into Diet and Exercise Options You may need to consider special diet and exercise options for your pet. Feeding schedules may need to be adjusted to accommodate medication requirements. Your pet may benefit from some exercise or stimulation to encourage movement. Talk to your veterinarian about what you can do to best manage your pet’s diet and food requirements, and also ask what kinds of exercise might be best for your pet. Keep Track of All Symptoms and Concerns It’s important that you’re always keeping track of the symptoms that
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