Service dogs undergo rigorous training to ensure they are ready for their duties in various situations. Today, more people understand the value of service dogs, and while you may assume that anyone can get one, it is more complicated than you think. It takes years before one can finish training a service dog. At the same time, the government has strict guidelines that dog owners must meet.
Also, a service dog must have the right temperament for the job. For example, suppose your job requires you to help someone who has a seizure disorder and tends to faint when startled by loud noises (e.g., fireworks). In that case, your dog should not be easily scared and vice versa. Otherwise, it will be more difficult for both of you to work together in public, e.g., at an airport gate during rush hour; they may constantly be on edge. It’s also crucial to train them nicely not to cause any harm. You can learn more about Boise Board and Train solutions for service dog training. The methods below are an overview of what it takes.
Take Care Of State Licensing Requirements
If you want to make your dog a service dog, you must first determine your state’s requirements. The training, certification, and licensing requirements usually vary by state. It is always important to find out your local laws before seeking accreditation or training. While at it, establish an appropriate animal-assisted therapy (AAT) for you and your dog and animal-assisted activities (AAA) or a combination of these activities to treat mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression.
Start With Obedience Training
Follow these training procedures to get your furry companion on track;
- Start With Obedience Training
Teach your dog to “sit,” “down,” and “come.” You can do this by using treats and praise as rewards for good behavior. If your dog does something wrong or misbehaves, correct the problem immediately by saying “no” in a firm voice or giving them a gentle pat on the butt (never hit them on the head).
- Use Positive Reinforcement
Please focus on the dog while giving it commands, and praise them when they do what you ask instead of punishing them when they don’t obey.
- Train For Specific Tasks.
Train the dog to perform specific tasks. If you want your dog to help you in a particular way, such as alerting you when someone is at your door or leading you through crowds, train him for that purpose by practicing in many different areas. Start with simple tasks and move on to more complex functions as the dog learns to perform them reliably.
- Train For Comfortability Around People Or Places
One of the most critical skills for service dogs is friendliness with all kinds of people, from small children and disabled seniors to pregnant women. They can remain calm even when many people are causing chaos around them. The best way to develop this skill is through socialization: from puppyhood, expose them regularly to many different experiences, and ensure they are relaxed under different circumstances (e.g., when there’s a knock at the door). It prepares them for later when they may need a caregiver under your command.
- Stay Patient
Training takes time. Keep repeating the same training methods until your dog grasps them, and even after, train more.
Earn Your Service Dog Certificate
You can earn your service dog certificate in two ways: online or in person. Online certification is a convenient option for those who want to save themselves a trip to an office, but it’s not always as reliable. On the other hand, in-person certificates look more reliable and are often necessary for airlines and other government agencies.
If you plan to travel with your dog, you should have their certification. When necessary, you can identify your dogs as service animals in restaurants and hotels. Note that airlines require certificates from ADA (American Dog Association) or AKC (American Kennel Club) to determine whether or not your dog has undergone training for such purposes.
Visit Public Places Frequently
It is essential to make your dog feel comfortable in different situations. Therefore, consider visiting public places often and ensure your dog has enough exposure to new environments. If you can not take them out in public often enough, consider hiring a trainer or walking them with a friend who also has a dog. The more contact your service dog has with other people, the less likely he will become fearful or aggressive when confronted with them later.