At Your Service: Service Dog Training

What is a service dog anyway? A service dog is a dog used for assistance. They are usually used to help people with visual or hearing disabilities. Traits that should be present with these dogs are trainability, good behavior, good physical health and structure and bendability.

There are several organizations that specifically train service dogs. Often, these dogs are from rescue shelters or donated by charitable breeders. Service dogs can be mixed race too as long as they have all the needed traits. With their given duties, they are often placed in the working animal category.

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The safety and health of the owner is on their paws after all. Good service dog training is a must. They are usually trained to avoid any distractions especially when they wear their service gears. When their gears are removed though, well trained dogs are friendly and more relaxed. They also ignore most people when on duty.

As any kind of dog training, service dog training starts when they are just puppies. Usually, these puppies are trained first as domestic dogs and live in foster families. When they are old enough, advance service training begins.

During their puppy lives though, they are trained to interact properly with different kinds of people with regards to age, gender, mode of dress, disability, etc. They are also trained on how to behave in the presence of other dogs and other animals. Basic training includes toilet training, riding in cars, coming when called, sitting down, staying, and other usual dog behaviors.

Near completion of their basic training in their foster homes, the puppies are evaluated between their twelfth and eighteenth month. If they exhibit good performance and good psychological status they are further trained to become service dogs. Dogs that do not quite passed the standards are passed to different organizations to be trained as custom dogs or police dogs.

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