Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Jersey
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I can tell you how it worked for me in NY/NJ area.
A service dog first and foremost needs to be able to handle any and all situations, which means massive socialization, as Millie'sMom suggested. Then start with basic obedience and just keep taking classes with your dog.
You will also need a diagnosis that warrants a service dog. That means the medical condition will define the type of service Jake needs to provide. I am not at all questioning that Jake will bring huge value to Noah's life - the challenge is having a doctor write it up so support the need for a service dog and properly document what Jake will need to do for Noah.
Here is where the way to training diverges a bit, based on what Jake needs to know how to do. Will he need to know how to sense when a seizure is coming on and after it's over be a calming influence? Or will he need to be able to help him pick things up and get around?
The training will be targetted to teaching Jake how to properly support Noah's needs, as defined by the doctor. I worked with my doctor and a physical therapist to make sure Remy fit the criteria.
When I thought he was getting close to ready I decided to have him tested - figuring the first time would be practice. Basically the trainer tested the skills he needed to demonstrate to support me, and then basically gave him an extreme form of a canine good citizen test, which included sitting in a restaurant through a meal, using a revolving door and lots of other stuff a normal dog would not be required to do. Who would have thought that he passed the first time?!
Anyway I hope this helped, lots of luck with it - and of course please feel free to private message me if I can help in any way