When it comes to animals, they can provide a lot of support. There is a special class of animals called Emotional Support Animals (ESA). This is different from a service dog because a service dog has to be more specialized in helping with a task. An ESA though can provide a calming and necessary presence. It’s for this reason that they are considered medical tools and not pets by the medical community.
Training a therapy dog begins with socializing your dog as a puppy. He is going to need to know how to adapt to different environments and different people. Some breeds that are known to be quite aggressive, such as Pitbulls, are not allowed to be therapy dogs. This means that you will not be allowed to take them on a flight with you by law. So, the first step in preparing your dog to be a therapy dog is to make sure that it is the right breed.
To get your puppy started on becoming a therapy dog, you are going to need a good collar or harness to keep him under control as well as an appropriate leash for his weight and size. Your dog should know basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘watch me’, ‘leave it’, ‘down’, ‘heel’, and ‘come’, as well as leash manners before beginning therapy training. Be prepared with lots of patience and have fun. Socializing your dog to new environments and you people will be your first step in any method you use, so be sure to have access to areas your dog may work once he is a therapy dog. And finally, be sure to carry around lots of little rewards for good behavior as you are training your dog.
Also, you will want to make sure you qualify to have an ESA. You need to have a disability where you need a dog. The disability can be mental. These invisible disabilities include things like PTSD and anxiety disorder. You cannot just get a dog because you want one or you feel your life will be enhanced. This would only classify your dog as a pet and not as an ESA. To make your dog into a therapy dog, you have to be deemed as needing one. Know more about affiliate programs on dogs in this article. A licensed medical professional will have to give you a letter that you can show to a landlord. This will help you to secure housing with an ESA even in a building where no pets are allowed. The American Disabilities Act allows for people to have ESAs while traveling and in rented houses.
You might want to go a step further and have your dog trained to help you with a specific task in public. This extra training would allow your animal to be classed as a service dog. A service dog can go with you into all public settings. You may want to get it a vest and have it wear an ID with its registration number. This way, people will be less likely to question why your dog is coming into an area with you.
All in all, you need your puppy to start in early on the good lifestyle training. Your service dog training will mean that your dog lives to serve you. It will have a completely different mindset than that of a vicarious pet. You can have a therapy dog instead who will help you through difficult tasks and transitions in your life.