How To : Easy Ways To Select Your Superhero Service Dog (Part 2)

3 minutes read

You can test for recovery time by randomly dropping an object such as a metal bowl, book, chip bag, or anything that may cause a startled reaction. If the dog darts away and cowers, s/he will most likely not be a good candidate for service work. If s/he startles and ducks but resumes his/her natural posture, this is a good indication that s/he will take less energy to adapt to new environments and stressful situations. S/he will do well once the desensitization training starts. Bonus points to the dog that doesn’t flinch and investigates the fallen object!

There will be times where other people will accidentally step on your dog’s tail. This will mostly happen when your dog is laying by you while you are eating or other situations where you are sitting in public. Take it as a compliment! It is imperative that your dog be desensitized to touch because accidents happen and a dog that is not accustomed to this stimulus will create a scene defeating the purpose of having a service dog; to improve your quality of life. To test for this, start by simply petting the dog. A dog that is easily excited by touch is a poor choice. Lightly hold the dog’s ears, muzzle and then jowls. It is okay if the dog is curious as to what you are doing. However, s/he should not react aggressively (mouthing is not aggression and should be expected as dogs explore with their mouths). Next, move to the paws. Run your hands down the dog’s legs and grasp his/her feet. Apply even pressure to the dog’s paw and then gently pinch the webbing in between his/her toes. Note the dog’s reaction. The more accepting s/he is of your invasiveness, the more likely they will shape up to be a reliable and level-headed companion in situations such as getting stepped on, vet visits, and the occasional obnoxious, or unpermitted child in your dog’s face. If the dog is unforgiving towards the tester, this may not be the best choice as s/he may hold grudges that could get in the way of training.

Being that your end goal is to successfully complete the ADA Public Access Test, it would behoove you to test your candidates with this in mind. This means that your candidates should easily be able to get in and out of vehicles for which you would need to assess the dog’s physical health for this action, and his/her willingness to jump into and out of a vehicle. While we are on the subject of cars, your service dog will need to be able to compose him/herself next to moving cars and busy traffic. It is okay if your prospective dog is a little cautious, but resorting to a fight or flight response is not a good sign. If you are able to bring your candidate into a store that allows dogs, observe the way they navigate isles and maneuver around displays and in tight spaces. The dog should display confidence and not be overly interested in other people, especially not trying to solicit attention from the public. The energy level of a dog is important to observe in this environment. S/he should not be overly excited to see people/children, or dogs, and should not tamper with any displays or merchandise. Alternatively, a dog that slinks through the aisles and is reluctant to pass through thresholds would most likely wind up needing more rehabilitation than routine training.

Many times, good service dog candidates can be found in rescues and shelters. Don’t worry, if you’d like to change his/her name take solace in the fact that dogs are very adaptive and, when done properly, your dog will snap his/her head around and the sound of their new name. Some dogs even respond to nicknames

 

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Whatsapp Pocket

Related Posts:

Selection Is a Very Important Step Just as I stated in the introduction, each dog is unique in a way that its trainability may vary from Forest Gump to Albert Einstein. The good news is you can improve on this through training. However, there are some traits a...
Service Dog Laws and Tests : First and foremost, any responsible service dog owner/handler should be well versed in the legalities respecting the service dog community. In this chapter, we will cover what is going to be expected from you, your companion, and t...
Teaching Your Dog To Go To His Place: This command is guaranteed to be helpful when you have a dog who is always playful when you don’t need it to be, especially around your guests. Before you start training your dog to go to his place, you will have to pick o...
61 to 70 Girl Dog Names Dot Dottie Duchess Eden Edie Effie Eliza Ella Ellie Eloise   71 to 80 Girl Dog Names Elsa Ember Emma Emmy Etta Eva Faith Fancy Fannie Fanny   81 to 90 Girl Dog Names Faye Fifi Flo ...
6-Sit on Command: There will be three individual times you will be asked to sit your dog. Each time, the dog should respond quickly with no more than two repetitions of the command. The first sit will be situated next to a plate of food. You are allowed to ver...
Teaching Your Dog To Be Obedient : Unlike many other animals, dogs are naturally social animals. However, if they lack good training, they will make your life miserable by doing things such as digging holes everywhere, drinking out of the toilet, biting your f...