Have you ever wondered what a service dog can do for your special needs child or adult? Service dogs are a great resource and strategy to help anyone who is struggling with a special need. It is true, dogs can be a person’s best friend. What if you could have a best friend and a helper at the same time?
A Service Dog is a dog who has had special training by a Service Dog Trainer. It usually takes around 1 1/2 years to properly train a service dog. It is lengthy because the training is very intricate. Once the dog is properly trained, they can assist a child or adult with a multitude of tasks or even calm someone who is stressed.
how can a service dog help?
A service dog is defined as a dog who is properly trained to preform a task. Some examples are:
- Pick up objects (keys, remote, paper)
- Turn on/off lights
- Sense a seizure
- Compression provides calming during a meltdown
- Calm you down when you are feeling uneasy
- Block people from getting in your space while in public
- Sense a drop/increase in insulin levels
our service dog
My husband Tim’s service dog, Faith, was trained to block people from getting in his space while in public. She also can detect when he feels stressed out and comforts him. Faith is such a sweet dog. She has been Tim’s partner in crime for 3 years now. Faith goes everywhere with my husband. Faith is also very intelligent. She knows when she has her vest on that she is working. She knows there is no funny business at work. When her vest is off though, she is a normal dog. She loves to hike, fish, and play in the snow.
be aware of scams
It is very important for a service dog to properly trained by a Service Dog Trainer. A Service Dog Trainer will teach the dog to do one or more specific tasks. It is also important to find a creditable Service Dog Trainer, because there are a lot of people out there that will try and rip you off. We found that out early on in our service dog journey.
When we were looking for a Service Dog Trainer, we found one in the town we lived in. We found out though that she was a fraud. She was going to charge us $6500 to train Faith. Through different sources, we learned her dogs are not trained well. We also found out, yes $6500 was cheap for a service dog, however she was using another organization to train the dog and pocketing all $6500.
service dog vs emotional support dog
There are also a lot of people who will try and pass an emotional support dog off as a service dog. There are many differences between these groups of dogs.
- Trained by a legitimate Service Dog Trainer
- Trained for perform specific tasks for owner
- Can legally go into stores, restaurants, fly, etc.
- IS supported by the ADA Laws
Emotional Support Dogs
- Requires no trainer
- Can perform emotional support for anyone
- Can NOT legally go into stores, restaurants, fly, etc..
- Is NOT supported by the ADA Laws
Service Dogs are wonderful strategies to help someone who has a disability. They are truly amazing. My recommendation is if you are looking at getting a service dog, is to look for a non-profit organization that is reputable. Ask for references and ask if they are a non-profit.
Next article will feature Service Dog Trainer, David Riggs founder of K9Care Montana. He has truly been a blessing to our family. He spent a year and a half training Faith. David will help us decipher the difference between service dogs and emotional support dogs. He has invaluable knowledge he will share with us in my next post.
You can also read all about Arlo. He is my son’s emotional support guinea pig. He has been an awesome addition to our family.
Hi my name is Laurie. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian homeschooling mom of 3, caregiver to my Veteran husband, mom to a son with Autism, community volunteer, travel loving, and blogger. As you might notice, I do not live the “expected life”. Come join my family and other families as we experience Living The Unexpected Life.