Definition: A dog individually trained to perform tasks that mitigate a person’s disability such as;
• Guide the Blind
• Alert the Deaf
• Pull a Wheelchair
• Open Doors
• Body Block & Protect during a seizure
• Prevent Fall
• Climb Stairs
• Navigate in a Crowd
• Mobility Assistance
• Medication reminders
• Assist with PTSD
Myth: If I want my dog to be a Service Dog it just has to be trained to do tasks for me.
Truth: You MUST be disabled. A Service Dog is a dog that is task trained to mitigate the disability of its handler, as defined by the ADA. To be eligible for a service dog, an individual must: Be at least 12 years of age unless service dog is needed for a child with autism. Have a diagnosed physical disability or anxiety disorder such as PTSD. Also check for debilitating chronic illness, or neurological disorder affecting at least one limb.
Service Dog is a constant companion that will greatly improve a disabled person’s day to day life and make it possible for them to live as close to normal as possible. Training a Service Dog is a lengthy and ongoing endeavor with several milestones to meet and achieve.
They are highly task trained to help with everyday life, such as retrieve dropped items, bring water, medication, phone or find another human for help, open and close doors, assist with mobility, balance, alert to medical and/or disability hazards, prevent falls and most importantly to be at their side and help to keep their handler safe while navigating in public, going to medical appointments, shopping, traveling, flying, performing tasks within the home and so much more.