So, what’s to expect after your dog has been certified? Honestly, for most, owners expect service dogs to be treated as animal on shift or working animal in public. Why? Simply because every owner’s safety purely depends on dogs ability to handle distractions. During the training, your dog is prepared to avoid distraction as much as they can especially when wearing their gear and at the same time they are trained to be relax and friendly when the gear is removed. An owner’s permission is a must before other people interacts with the dog while in public places.
What you might not know is that you can actually train your own service dogs. Nowadays, more people are choosing to train their own dog because there are times that training programs just aren’t able to train the dog to the owner’s individual needs. However, not all countries allow that type of training. Luckily, this is permitted to some countries including US but there are certain criteria to be considered. Trainers have to have skills which allows them to understand that their experience in training advanced service dogs are different from training the average dog simple obedience skills. Owners may need to hire a professional trainer or organization that is willing to train owner’s dog. Owner-trainers usually start training their dog when they are still a puppy until they reach the right age to be evaluated. The only downfall is that some find it difficult to deal with emotional conflict in rare cases when a dog failed the evaluations and decide whether to re-home the dog and start again or to just keep it as a pet.
On the other hand, professionally trained puppies were raised accordingly via very careful research and also had to undergo a regime that has a lot of strict guidelines and mostly given a success rate of 85 % and above after evaluation which is way higher than owner-trained puppies/dogs. Why is that so? This is because program trainers are expert in manipulating the genetics or say early stimulation of puppies until the event that they become service dogs.
If you are planning to get a service dog, you don’t have to worry about bringing them to where you are. In fact, as soon as your dog got registered, they are allowed to go anywhere you go. You can feel free to bring them to any restaurants, buses, schools, ride taxis, take airplanes, stores, movie theatres, sporting events, watch concerts with you, visit doctor’s offices, and any other public place. Legally speaking, it is a requirement of federal and state laws to always have your dog with you. What makes it more exciting is that they do not have to wear any identifying gear, no need to wear their vest as well. So everything could actually be owner’s discretion. The truth is that a lot of service dog owners choose to dress their dogs in vest and identifying apparels to avoid questions and confrontations in public. So by doing so, it makes their life easier and at the same time it helps keep the dogs away from distractions as much as possible. If you bring your dog elsewhere, keep in mind that it is illegal to ask for specific identification from service dogs partners. If somebody did, tell them it is not allowed by law. You can bring ID cards with you, but take note that it should be done voluntarily, again, this is NOT required and should never be expected.
So far, the most popular assistance animals are dogs. This is because dogs are man’s best friend – wonderful pet, provides companionship, and protects their owner. Dogs are sociable by nature and as a matter of fact, they work closely with people such as law enforcement, search and rescue and even farming. These characteristics made it possible for dogs to be service animals.
What if you don’t have a dog? In some cases, other animals can be trained to perform task to help disabled individuals to live independent life. The truth is that any trainable animal could be your service animal. The most common of course are dogs, cats, primates and birds but in reality any animal that is capable for training to perform the tasks required to benefit a qualified disabled owner/individual could be considered to be a service animal. So that means you can also have others like capuchin monkeys, which can be trained to do other task like operating knobs and switches, grasping fallen items and turn pages of your books. You can also consider training miniature horses, it’s proven that after serious trainings, they can actually guide the blind; they can pull wheelchairs and even assist individuals with Parkinson’s disease. As a matter of fact even before the evolution of service dogs, animal interactions already plays a big role in helping human with health issues. One example is horseback riding which is actually mentioned throughout history as cure for some sickness including gout, neurological disorders and depression. Up until now, animals still assist us in terms of physical and mental illness and still assist people with disabilities. Any species or breed of service animal may used by a disabled handler.