Could your dog be a therapy dog?
It is not uncommon to see dogs accompanying people on trips anywhere the public is welcome. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities. The ADA outlines the only two questions that can be asked when determining whether a dog should be allowed in an establishment, each about the disability and work for which the dog is trained. The work performed by service dogs may be as simple as providing emotional support for someone with disabling emotional problems, or as complex as alerting his/her person of an impending seizure or dangerous drop in blood glucose level. Therapy dogs play an important role in the health and independence of many people these days. This accounts for the uptick in use and why we see them more often now than it was in the past. Although there are many services out there that offer trained dogs for individuals, there is always the possibility that a dog you already have in your home would be an excellent candidate. Sometimes, these animals have already picked up on the condition and are ready to be put into service. However, unless you know how to utilize their instincts appropriately, you may never benefit from them. Just like people, dogs have different traits that set them up for success in their chosen fields. However, dogs typically don’t get the opportunity to choose for themselves what their lives will look like. Smart people choose wisely when considering the type of dog that best fits into their homes and daily lives. Nevertheless, there are other things to consider when expecting a dog to serve in a therapeutic capacity. While most dogs offer unconditional love to the family they claim as their own, some are not so sure when strangers come into the mix. Many are comfortable with older folks but become nervous or irritable when little ones are around. Then others are absolutely giddy around everyone and those that don’t seem to care for people or dogs. Knowing how to sort through the various characteristics of a dog goes a long way when sizing up your dog as potential therapy dog material. Honestly, you want a dog that is well-behaved no matter whether it is a service animal or a family pet. It is also important, especially for service dogs, that they have a rock-solid temperament that can be relied upon regardless of the circumstance. A dog that is easily distracted or seeks everyone’s attention may not be the perfect match for someone who requires their undivided attention. Man K-9 is a dog training business that is based in San Diego County, California. It offers Police K9 Training, Family Protection Dogs, Family Dog Training, and Man-K9 University. Only the most advanced and proven techniques are used so that you can enjoy the peace of mind that your dogs will receive a firm foundation of training that will last. We can also help you decide if your dog is therapy dog material. Call us today at 760-468-8830 to find out more.