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Leerburg Dog Training Q&A Archive Q&A on Therapy, Service, & Assistance Dogs

Q&A on Therapy, Service, & Assistance Dogs

Q&A on Therapy, Service, & Assistance Dogs

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Dog with back pack

  1. I have an Australian Shepherd puppy that is wonderful with people. Because I am a teacher, I have been taking him to work and training him to sit with kids who have special needs. This women mentioned "home schooling"  through your video program. What do you suggest?

  2. We would like to fly our dog out to CA; it was mentioned to us that he could fly with us if he was a service dog or a dog in training. Do you know anything about this?

  3. I would like to train my own service dog, but cannot find a dog that I get along well with due to a few things. What do you suggest?

  4. I have a WGSD that I adopted from the shelter. When I take him to stressful places, he ranges from being very anxious and fails to listen, to sometimes frightened & tries to get away. I would like to possibly train him as a service dog. I think the training should be no problem, but I'm not sure if I would ask him to be a service dog away from home.

1. Question:

A woman with a therapy dog gave me your web site address. I have an Australian Shepherd puppy that is wonderful with people. Because I am a teacher, I have been taking him to work and training him to sit with kids who have special needs. This women mentioned "home schooling"  through your video program. What do you suggest? I need to have some kind of certification process so he can enter nursing homes and children's centers. She takes her dog everywhere and has cards of certification to show her dog is therapy trained. She said that other breeds besides German Shepherds can be trained through your programs.

Thank You for your time, I sent you a photo of "Jinx."

Wendy
5th grade teacher

Ed's Response:

We sell vests for dogs that come with cards as being therapy dogs. With that said your dog need to be trained, it needs to be calm and submissive to be a therapy dog.

I would recommend three training DVDs to you to accomplish this:

Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months

How to Raise a Working Puppy

Basic Dog Obedience

If you do the work in these three DVDs and get a nice vest for your dog there should be no problem. I also recommend that you read the free eBook on my web site titled THE GROUND WORK TO BECOMING YOUR PUPPY'S PACK LEADER – You can find my eBooks at http://leerburg.com/dogtrainingebooks.htm

Kind Regards,
Ed Frawley


2. Question:

Cindy,

We would like to fly our dog out to CA. for two weeks for our grandson; it was mentioned to us that he could fly with us if he was a service dog or a dog in training. We were wondering if you could share with us any insight to this. Or if their is a way you might know where he could fly. Our daughter is having her second child, and we will be on grandparents duty with the first child. We just love our dog who is  mid size. I hope this question makes sense.

Thanks, 
Bill & Kathy

Answer:

Hi Bill and Kathy,

IF your dog is actually a service dog or in training as a service dog they can fly in the cabin with the handler or trainer.  I know people who are not training their dogs to be service dogs that try to do this dishonestly, and in my opinion it does a great injustice to the real service dog and legitimate dog trainers  that are out there.  Typically you need some type of credentials for the dog, or need to be a trainer who is proofing the dog on air travel. 

So unless your dog is a service dog, then he will have to fly in a kennel in the cargo hold unless he is small enough to fit in a carrier under the seat in front of you.

Does this answer your question?

Cindy


3. Question:

Hi, my name is Michelle. I have a kind of complicated question to ask but I don't have anywhere else to turn to. I've been searching and went through a lot of different dogs trying to find the right dog to be a service dog for me because I have anxiety, depression, social phobia and I black out. For some odd reason most dogs I go around seem to perceive what I have as threatening. So my boyfriend saw this add online for a litter of rescued bottle feed 3 week old puppies and thought maybe me raising one would help the dog and me to connect better and the dog to not see what I have so aggressively. I don't know what to do I need help finding the right dog. I've had a lot of heart ache and my family is getting sick of the different dogs. I've tried organizations and none will help me especially since I have hardly any money. I have trained service dogs for other people and they came out just fine. Was is a golden for an eight year old boy that has grandmal seizures and the other was a pit that is with a guy that has epilepsy. I just can't seem to find the right match for me. I'm always getting the wrong dog, please help??? Oh and my boyfriend also wanted to try a rottie but I wanted your option on this.

Answer:

I think whenever you need a dog for such a specialized task, such as service work or police work, it's always best to get an adult dog that can be evaluated to see if they have the aptitude and temperament for the job they are to perform.

I believe that your odds are very slim of getting a service dog candidate from a bottle fed rescue dog (or really any rescue dog because of the unknown genetics behind the dog)

It's my understanding that if you have a true disability then service dogs are placed at no charge, so you may want to do more research.

Cindy


4. Question:

Hello,

I have a WGSD that I adopted from the shelter. (I was there the day he came in) Since he was a puppy he was frightened in new situations and very anxious. He is a great house protector. But when I take him to stressful places ex. the shelter when I volunteer, or any place that's not at home. He ranges from being very anxious at the shelter and fails to listen, to sometimes frightened & tries to get away from the circumstances he is in. I know he can overcome this because he has excepted the local pet store and likes to go there now. He has gotten better socialized as well because of this. He likes the car ride but seems anxious and just overly excited (which may be my fault because I say want to go "bye bye").

Now on to the marker training question. I would like to train him to do this, and possibly training as a service dog. I'm not sure he can do this because of his temperament. Or could ever be out in public in the store with us, as sometimes he doesn't accept everybody right away. he will growl if they are trying to hard to become friends (the men are usually big,tall,wearing black or black people). He likes to take it slow on making friends. I have trained him to open and close the door (better at closing) but he gets so high in drive for treats, he tries to hard and doesn't really get it& messes up.

I think the training should be no problem, but I'm not sure if I would ask him to be a service dog away from home. Or do anything with a lot of people around.

Any insight will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!!

Ashley

Answer:

Without being able to see the dog, I can’t tell you if he’ll be able to be a service dog or not.  All you can do is take him to a lot of places, build his confidence and use marker training at his own pace.  I wouldn’t push this dog into any situation he wasn’t comfortable with.

I’d recommend The Power of Training Dogs with Markers and Clicker Train your own Assistance Dog.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes



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