Training Service Dogs: From Puppy to Invaluable Partner
DogMan Mark Castillero Follows These Guidelines as Shown from Our Friends at Petco
Everyone has probably seen service dogs, helping people who have physical challenges operate more effectively in their day-to-day routines, or offering comfort to others such as returning soldiers. But what goes into the training of a service dog to make it such a great companion?
For starters, there’s the gear: Different leaders, also called leashes, can help dogs learn to respond to different tasks and to-dos. A gentle leader, for example, allows a service-dog- in-training to eat and play, all while learning to focus on their handler. A vest is a great tool to use for puppies and dogs in the community, allowing others to know that the dog is working and should not be disturbed.
Although gear is important, so too are the people who train service dogs. The end result of the hours, weeks, and months involved is not a pet, but a hardworking animal that offers help to others. It takes a variety of skills, including the willingness to take an animal out into the community so it develops the social skills that are necessary to daily life. There are also different types of service training programs that provide dogs to people of different needs—guide dogs for the blind, for example, or companion dogs for veterans.
Interested in learning more about the specifics that go into helping train a service dog? Click on the cool infographic below to learn more.