Service Dog training

We Train Dogs Who Change Lives

Dogs are not only “man’s best friend”–many perform crucial jobs and support their owners and others.

service dog is specifically trained to help people with disabilities. Those disabilities may include visual difficulties, hearing impairments, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), seizures, ambulatory issues, mental illness, diabetes, autism, and more.

A service dog is trained to take a specific action that helps mitigate an individual’s disability. The task the dog performs is directly related to their person’s disability.  

Regardless of breed or mix, the best service dogs are handler-focused, desensitized to distractions, and highly trained to reliably perform specific tasks. They are not easily diverted from their tasks at home or in public and remain attentive and responsive their owners while working. 

Some dogs show extreme stress when the owner has an emotional outbreak – these dogs, no matter how much training they receive will never “learn” to not be stressed in that situation and would be unsuitable for emotional support; it doesn’t mean they are not good house pets, they just do not possess the traits needed for emotional support.

Service Dog Training is based through our Winchester, VA facility. Reach out for more information by filling out our online form or calling (540) 270-7132.

About Our Service Dog Training Program

  • For example, a Papillon is not an appropriate choice to pull a wheelchair, but could make an excellent hearing dog. 
  • The AKC Canine Good Citizens Test program can provide guidelines and benchmarks for foundation skills.
  • Included in the lesson program if a client chooses to go that route but must be done with the owner.

(The number of lessons depends on the task)

What Is Service Dog Training?

Service Dog Training varies tremendously in the dog training industry. Ridgeside K9 does not “certify” any dogs in working services.

However, we provide the obedience components that allow many service dogs to go forward in their training. We can support the mission of turning a dog into a true service dog by providing advanced obedience.

Prior to Service Dog Training, a training blueprint will be established to ensure specific goals are met that are outside the scope of an obedience board and train package. Once the training blueprint is complete we will work with the handler to ensure we are all on the same page moving forward.

We cannot teach the dog to love or like you – NO dog trainer can.

Different Types of Service Dogs

Guide Dog – assists an individual that has vision impairment.

Mobility Dog – may retrieve items, open doors or even push buttons for its handler.  Also, this Service Animal may assist people with disabilities with walking, balance and transferring from place to place.

Hearing Dog – alert its handler with a hearing loss to sounds.  This can be telephone, door bell, smoke alarm, crying baby and more.

Medical Alert Dog – trained to alert to oncoming medical conditions, or attend its handler in the event of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.

Autism Service Dog – Assistance Dog that is trained to alert its handler of certain behaviors so that the handler may keep these behaviors to a minimum. This dog provides stability and the dog’s presence offers a calming influence and provides focus. Abstract and concrete thinking advance, focus improves, and the length of attention span increases.  The important role of an autism service dog is affording the individual more independence and autonomy, helping those individuals become a viable part of the community.

Psychiatric Service Dog – works with a handler that has a mental disability.  Some types of tasks could be to attend a handler who may need a dog to be able to go out in public (agoraphobic), or a handler who suffers from panic attacks, anxiety attack, PTS (post-traumatic stress) or other mental disorders.  These dogs are trained NEVER to leave their handler’s side

Sourced by AKC 

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