Tips To Note Before Getting a Service Dog

Tips To Note Before Getting a Service Dog

Training a service dog requires a lot of work, but welcoming one into your world is life-changing for both of you. It's a service dog's duty to help their handler carry out specific tasks that may otherwise be challenging. However, there are some tips to note before getting a service dog, so check out the information below to learn more!

Understand What Service Dogs Do

Service dogs differ from other working canines since they're allowed to join their owner on daily tasks. In other words, these pups can accompany their owners to public locations—like grocery stores—that may not otherwise allow dogs. This is in part because laws recognize the way these specially trained canines assist individuals.

The Types of Service Dog

The job of a service dog depends on what the handler needs; although we often see guide dogs, some may have dogs to help them hear, move, or carry out other daily tasks. Some of the most common types of service dogs are:

  • Guide dogs
  • Hearing dogs
  • Diabetic alert dogs
  • Mobility assistance dogs
  • Seizure response dogs
  • Psychiatric service dogs

All service dogs carry out different tasks and therefore may receive slightly different training. For example, diabetic alert dogs use their powerful sense of smell to alert individuals of high or low blood sugar levels. When the dog senses these levels are off, it may bark to alert its owner or those around, which prevents an emergency.

If you need service dog leashes or other canine essentials, Julius K9 has you covered. As canine equipment professionals, we've got everything you need to ensure a great bond with your incredible pup!

Select the Right Breed

Another tip to note before getting a service dog is to adopt the appropriate breed. Every breed is different, and some provide better assistance than others. For example, most guide dogs are retrievers because of their inborn traits and ability to retrieve objects. Likewise, larger breeds are best for mobility assistance. Ultimately, the breed you should adopt depends on your needs.

Service Dogs Are Still Canines

While these pooches are incredible workers, they are still dogs and have the same needs as any other furry companion. This means you'll need to give your pup the appropriate amount of exercise, mental stimulation, visits to the vet, and more. Some people need help caring for their service dog, and that's perfectly fine. What's important is both you and your fluffy companion lead happy lives.

Look Into the Laws

Federal laws protect both service dogs and their handlers, but some civilians and business owners don't know these laws. To prevent negative experiences or issues, familiarize yourself with these laws to know your rights.

Also, keep in mind that while service dogs technically aren't required to wear identification vests, putting one on your canine may help deter some individuals. Since everyone isn't aware of a service dog's important duty, they may unintentionally try petting your pup or otherwise distracting it. Knowledge is power, so if this does happen, simply inform them that your canine works to protect you and distractions are harmful.

What Are Emotional Support Animals?

Although emotional support animals help their owners, the way they do so isn't the same as what a service dog does. Likewise, emotional support animals don't receive the same specialized training or help owners carry out daily tasks. Because of this, emotional support animals cannot accompany their owners to public locations as service dogs can.

Understand the Adoption Process

Getting a service dog is much easier said than done, and everyone doesn't qualify for furry assistance. To receive approval, you'll have to talk with your doctor or another healthcare provider. 

If you receive approval for a service dog, then you'll need to seek out an organization offering these well-trained pooches. As you seek out an organization, read reviews or ask around for recommendations to find something reputable. Often, these pups are quite expensive but worth the money to those in need.

Look Into Service Dog Training 

Like wearing identifying vests, professionals strongly recommend training, but it’s not required. 

A training program exposes the dog to various settings to ensure it remains calm and attentive to the handler. For example, when you’re out buying groceries with your service dog, you want it focused on you and not the surrounding excitement. Since focusing on their handler is necessary, introducing the dog to distractions early on is vital. 

Remember that training never truly ends. Your dog needs to continue learning and practicing commands. The good news is training for as little as five minutes a day can give a dog the mental stimulation they need to feel happy!

Training Isn't Fast

While these pooches are highly intelligent and ready to work, training doesn't happen overnight. In fact, some dogs flunk out of their training programs because they don't have the skills the job requires. 

By taking it slow, you ensure your canine truly understands the tasks it'll carry out since these aren't fun tricks. Training helps rule out negative behavior and socialize your dog so it can accompany you wherever necessary. 

Bonding Takes Time

Change is challenging for everyone and welcoming the help of a service animal means shifts in your daily routine. Although you may want the help this loving animal has to offer, it may take time to develop a close connection.

Dogs are like people, so the two of you may not hit it off the moment you meet. While some handlers do instantly bond with their service dog, it takes others a year. Everyone's different, and that's perfectly fine. 

Pro Pet Tip

It's worth noting that training does enhance the bonding experience. As you educate your canine, you gain a better understanding of one another. Some dogs are food motivated, while others love praise for positive reinforcement. In addition, by learning with your dog, you make establishing a routine much easier for the both of you!

Service dogs are wonderful workers who help those with disabilities with daily tasks. Keep in mind not everyone is eligible for one, and if you are, it's highly recommended you attend training with a professional. Buy high-quality canine equipment at Julius K9 to make the process a breeze! You'll always have support with a furry companion at your side.

Tips To Note Before Getting a Service Dog