Choosing a good breed of service dog depends with an individuals’ interest. Some people like big dogs while others like small ones. Others like those with larger canines while others do not. It also depends on the type of the assistant the handler wants. Small dogs cannot pull a wheelchair while bigger ones can do. There are other breeds which are difficult to train while others can be trained with ease.
There are many standards for training service dogs. To achieve the required standards it is advisable to coordinate for several months within the training phases. They involve: Socialization, advanced training, and placement training. During this period, training is conducted in a coordinated way so that both dogs and their clients understand each stage before graduating. The training quality of service dogs is normally recommended and tested by training committee. Service dogs that are to work outside a compound take longer period in training than those intended to serve within a compound.
For a dog to be certified as a service dog, it has to pass through all the recommended training stages and should be able to assist the handler fully. For instance if a dog is well trained and does not meet certain requirements, it will be denied the certification according to the Service Dog Certification of America 2011. Selection of dogs should be carefully done so that they meet the desired qualities to serve as service dogs. This also helps trainers to have easy time in training their courses. After selection, the dogs are involved in socialization stage. At this stage they are trained to be social with clients under supervision of staff to ensure they have adequate advice on how to handle them. In all these stages the staff keeps record of both the dogs and the client for the certification. These records are the ones that allow handlers to pass each of the stage.
Dogs go under thorough medical examination to make sure that they are fit for training. In case of any medical problem they are not trained as service dogs. Medical examination is done at each stage to ensure clients go home with healthy long serving service dog.
After the socialization stage, they graduate to advanced training phase. At this stage, dogs are distributed to clients depending on the ability of each individual. They are trained according to individual’s needs and are also trained to master certain voices and body talk language. To serve effectively as service dogs, they are trained to perform at least three different physical duties.
After passing through the two stages they move to placement period. This stage mostly deals with the clients who are fully trained on how to discipline, communicate, enforce skills and know the diet required for the dogs. They should also predict the behavior of the dogs in specific situations. Before graduating, the client and dog must be accompanied and tested in a number of different field practices such as, market places, meetings, restaurants, and noisy places so that they can be approved. After full qualification, the client is issued with an identification card containing both photos and names of the dogs and the clients. This enables the dog to be clearly identified as a service dog in public (TMA Service Dogs Canada, 2012).
Training service dogs may take quite a long time depending on the assistance needed. It also depends on the breed required by the handler. Generally, it takes from eighteen to twenty four months to fully train services dogs (Service Dog Certification of America, 2011). The certification makes service dogs fully perform their duties. It also protects both the dog and the client in case of anything that may avoid them from entering any premises.
After certification both dogs and handlers are protected by certain Federal laws that govern service dogs. It also helps handlers confirm that they are continually improving the qualities of the dog. Certification gives the handler more confidence that they have passed the entire test. He/she may confidently move with his/her service dog even in dog restricted areas due to the certification. When need arises handlers may use it for security. It may also help in times for transportation of the dog from distance places.
Certification also helps the handler get assessed to the dog for longer period of time without any hindrances. When a dog is given by an organization the handler may be compensated in case of any accident for example death of the dog. In places where service dogs are not required to wear any identification, it may protect the owner from being confronted by the management of the premises or other customers.
Service dogs if are maintained and treated well, can serve for more time than expected. They improve the life of the needy and this encourages them to be a part of the community. Other service dogs have high smelling and sensing organs, due to these they help the police and security guards in their search. Generally service dogs are very important in our today’s communities because without them other community members may be lagging behind.