An Introduction to Service Dog Training
Service dog training is a one of those highly specialised areas of dog training which really requires an expert. If you have a
lot of experience training dogs or have specific experience in service dog training then you may be
able to do it yourself but if you haven’t then an expert is needed. Every kind of training has
its own difficult areas, things to look out for, and special techniques; when a dog is going to be doing a job such as assisting a disabled
person in some way then they need the best foundation possible, and that is something an expert will provide.
There are many kinds of task which a service dog, assistance dog, or guide dog, as they are sometimes called, might be
required to do. In each case they are trained to assist a disabled person and take over the tasks which that person is less able, or unable, to
perform. In all cases a balanced, fit, patient and intelligent animal is required; which rules out some breeds.
Thos we call guide dogs assist blind or partially sighted people; hearing dogs, or signal dogs, assist deaf or those people
who are hard of hearing. Broadly, service dogs are those which help people who are immobile or have mobility disabilities; they are also used as
seizure first response and other issues which require an immediate alert and the person is otherwise living alone.
The range of tasks here mean a range of requirements. A service dog might simply be the first sign of danger for someone with
low blood sugar, or they may be a highly trained guide dog guiding a blind person on a busy dangerous street.
There are different ways of accessing the sort of expertise necessary to have a trained service dog. Firstly, you could get a
dog which is already trained in the tasks you need; although that may be difficult and it can be expensive. Another way is to get an able dog and
take him along to a class where you will be guided by an expert and the training cost will be shared by all class members. You may be able to
train your dog yourself with guidance from a specialist; it is certainly worth looking into the different possibilities and services on offer and
finding one that suits you and is affordable for you.