A service dog is not only treasured for handicapped people but also for a normal person. The owner can be escorted everywhere even the place where dogs are not allowed such as hospitals, museums, cinemas or stores. Nevertheless, it’s not easy to afford such a great service dog due to its great abilities. You will be in a very long waiting list. I myself prefer training them and watch them grow up each day. Then, after 6 months, the service dog will be ready for your acquaintances with disabilities.
Step 1: Choose the right puppy at a proper age
Not every puppy will become a service dog. The success rate depends on the intelligence and the capability of focus of the puppy. However, it’s not an easy task when choosing a less than 6 months old puppy which is appropriate for service dog training process. Even the professional training center has moderate success rate when performing this task.
It’s just like a game of luck if you want to start from a puppy which is under 6-month age. I would highly recommend you to pick a young dog which has already shown its potential instead.
Step 2: The health of the candidate matters
It’s absolutely crucial when it comes to the health of a service dog. How can a therapy dog can serve its owner if it has its own health problem? A dog with arthritis will hardly run errands together with its owner. In case it suffers from diabetes, their performance will be obviously reduced due to their own needs.
It’s necessary to make sure the health of the candidate is always well maintained. In other words, beside regular vaccination and anti-parasite remedy, you will need to take your dog to the veterinarian twice a year.
Step 3: Which characteristics that the right candidate should have?
A good service puppy should possess the traits of intelligence and a ceaseless desire to please its owner. It will minimize the training time and effort. Choose the young dog which comes closed to you with no fear and anxiety. Carefully observe the body language of the candidate which shows the sign of confidence for instance erect wagging tail, direct approach to you without creeping around and head up.
Secondly, a good service dog must have the ability to maintain its confidence if it was placed in a crowded area. A nervous and afraid dog could harm you in some ways. Avoid the candidate with introvert body language for example the way it keeps its tail between its legs, or it often bends low and move backwards when seeing many people…
Thirdly, avoid the docile or aggressive candidates because you will need more time to control its temperament. The signs of such an aggressive dog are: raising their lips, snarling, direct eye contact when growling. Otherwise, a quiet and easy to control one will want to stick their head to your palm instead of confrontation manner.