Service Dogs: Common Breeds and Training Programs
While all dogs are good dogs, some pups are trained to be especially good to serve individuals in need. Assistance dogs, or service dogs, are specially trained to assist individuals with disabilities and special needs in order to help them live a more independent lifestyle, as well as to keep them safe, happy, and healthy — overall improving their general quality of life. With International Assistance Dog Week coming up on August 2-8, now is a great time to recognize and honor the good girls and boys that are dedicated to helping others.
There are several types of assistance dogs out there, including guide dogs, seizure response dogs, hearing dogs, medical alert dogs, therapy dogs, psychiatric service dogs, and others. These trained pups can accomplish a number of tasks, including answering the door, helping their owner get around, alerting others of issues, and more.
Common Service Dog Breeds
Almost any dog can be a service dog with proper training. However, certain breeds are better suited to excel as a service dog. Typical service dog breeds include:
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Great Dane
Traits of Good Service Dogs
There are a number of indicators and characteristics that create the ideal assistance dogs, this includes:
- Calm nature
Assistance Dog Training
For those who are interested in training their dog to be an assistance dog, individuals can look into assistance dog organizations or can train them themselves with the help of a professional trainer. For those who are seeking to train their pup on their own, owners should start to work on solidifying the basic skills first. On top of this, individuals should expose their pup to new places with new people as building confidence with being in unfamiliar places will help your furry friend to remain calm in new situations. Along with these foundational skills, pups must be able to master a skill that assists a specific disability.
For those who are interested in seeking an assistance dog organization to train their pup, there are a number of organizations in the Valley that offer this service. AZ Dog Sports in Phoenix offers an affordable assistance dog training program that is specifically designed for handlers who want to train the dog themselves. In Tempe, All 4 Paws Training gives individuals with disabilities the tools they need in order to train their own pups.
With International Assistance Dog Week approaching, now is the perfect time to recognize and appreciate the service dogs in your community that are helping individuals to live a happier, more independent life.
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