When a veteran comes home from a war with injuries that require the assistance of a service dog, or a disabled person in a wheelchair has that requirement, it is important to know how such a trained dog can be of unbelievable aid to make that person's life much more livable.
If searching for a service dog that is already trained, it is suggested visiting or calling CCI (Canine Companions For Independence) or a similar organization to be put on what may be a long waiting list. This is best for people who have limited ability to be directly involved in a dog's training. It is also possible to get assistance from several sources for the purchase of a rescued dog that is capable of doing the work.
Some people already have a dog that they would like to be trained, and that is possible if the dog is suitable for this particular type of work. A special dog training service offers a cost effective alternative. Examples of some of the behaviors that are taught include getting help, barking to alert the telephone or doorbell, stopping at certain objects, turning lights on and off, retrieving and carrying dropped articles and other specific objects, opening drawers and doors, and other extremely helpful tasks.
A prerequisite for any service dog training is basic obedience, and that works out well when the client is involved in the actual training of the dog. If the owner is not physically capable of being involved, an assistant must be provided for the day to day training and care of the dog.
The chosen proper dog must pass a temperament test, must not be fearful or aggressive to humans or other dogs, must be good in public and be able to navigate through crowds, must stay by the owner's side or lay down under or next to a table, must follow commands, and must pass a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test conducted with the owner of the dog or the assistant as the handler.
Learn more about how and if your dog can be trained as a service dog and more about the qualifications needed to be met or if it is better to get a dog that is already trained.