3 Questions To Ask Before Deciding To Train Your Pet As A Service Dog

Posted on: 7 March 2017

If you have been thinking about having your dog certified as a service dog, you may be uncertain about what qualifications are required. If so, ask yourself the following questions about your dog's physique, behavior, and temperament to decide whether your dog may be a good match.

Does Your Dog Have Any Physical Ailments?

The first question to ask about your dog is whether or not it has any physical ailments. You can either think about the last visit to the veterinarian or schedule an appointment if it has been a while since you took your pet.

Since many responsibilities of a service dog are physical, such as fetching items or helping a person walk, your dog needs to be in good physical condition. If your dog has arthritis, for example, it may not be able to keep up with the physical demands of the job.

How Does Your Dog Act In Public?

Since service dogs are often in crowded public places, such as stores or buses, you should next consider your dog's behavior while in public. Does your dog follow voice commands or gestures, even among distractions? If not, your dog may not exhibit enough control to be a service dog.

However, if your dog sits or only takes food when you command it, it may have enough self-control for the job. Also, this shows the dog may be able to undergo advanced training, which is another requirement of a service dog.

What Is Your Dog's Temperament Around People And Other Animals?

Another important thing to consider when deciding to have your dog certified is the animal's natural temperament. The dog should have a good, easy-going nature around people and other animals. If your dog can stay calm and refrain from growling or barking at a stranger's or a cat's approach, they may be well suited as a service animal.

However, if your dog tends to jump at the slightest noises or growls at a leaf passing by, it may be too high-strung to serve as a service dog. A service dog needs to be able to stay focused on their owner and not be easily distracted.

After asking yourself the above questions, you may decide that your dog has the qualifications to become certified. Or you may find you have additional questions. If so, you may want to contact a disability service for more information on how to make your dog a service dog.