Dogs can be great companions and loving additions to your family. On top of that, they can also be beneficial to your health and wellness. Today, an estimated 500,000 service dogs are currently helping people in the United States alone. Even though you may have seen one or have a friend or family member who utilizes one, you may not fully understand service dogs and how they are so beneficial. This guide will help you understand the truths behind a few common myths regarding service dogs.
Myth: Only Specific Breeds Can Become Service Dogs
One common myth people believe is that only certain breeds can become service dogs. Breeds, such as the Labrador retriever or German shepherd, for example, are incredibly smart, loyal, and easy to train. Therefore, you may think they are the only option for someone who needs a service dog.
While these breeds are great choices, the Labrador retriever and German shepherd are not the only breeds that will make excellent service dogs.
The traits of each dog's personality are most important when determining if the breed is right for service dog training. Yes, they should be smart, loyal, and easy to train, but they should also be able to solve problems and have the physical traits that ensure they can help with a person's disabilities.
From different retrievers and the German shepherd to standard poodles and even a Pomeranian, there are many breeds that can make excellent service dogs.
Myth: A Doctor's Note Can Certify a Dog as a Service Dog
Another common misconception is that you only need a doctor to write a note saying your dog is necessary to aide in your disability. Fortunately, this is not true, since a great deal of training is needed to teach your dog to become a service dog and also to certify the dog as a service dog that will be permitted where the handler needs to go.
During service dog training, the dog will need to learn how to perform a few different tasks. These tasks may be specific to the handler's disability but also specific to navigating public places in a safe and respectful manner.
While most people adopt dogs who are already trained to be service dogs, training your own dog is also an option to consider. Allowing your dog to work with professional trainers reduces the time and stress of having to wait for a service dog and it helps make the transition to having a service dog much easier since you and your dog already have a bond.
Doctors may recommend service dogs to help with your disability, but professional training and certification are required.
Myth: Service Dogs Are Abused
One of the most difficult myths to address is that service dogs are all abused, neglected, and overworked. This is not true.
Service dogs are trained to work, providing aide and assistance to their handlers, which can be time-consuming in some cases. However, these dogs are eager to please, ready to work, strong, loyal, and loving. Even though they are trained to help with their handler's health and lifestyle, service dogs are provided and cared for. They are loved and appreciated. They are able to rest, eat, and enjoy fun and exercise just like any other dog.
If you are a handler, providing your service dog with love and care is essential. If your disability prevents you from properly caring for your service dog's needs, be sure to seek out professional assistance to ensure your service dog is physically and emotionally provided for.
Service dogs can be wonderful additions to a person with a disability. By debunking these myths, you will better understand service dogs and their benefits. Learn more about these benefits by reaching out to a service dog training school.