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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quick question

I would like to get our new dog Jake trained to be a service dog (not an official therapy dog.) What is the process to make that happen?

Thanks!

Oh, and here's a picture of Jake and our son (who was born with Down Syndrome) Noah!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 07:48 PM
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I foster future service puppies for our local service organization. The puppies are usually fostered by volunteer families until they are approx. 1 year. In that time, they are extensively socialized to as much as possible. They go to schools, malls, restaurants, movie theatres, trains, buses etc. They learn housebreaking and basic obedience skills, and start on some of the serivce dog commands, such as opening handicap doors, carrying things in their mouth etc. At one year of age, it is determined which branch of service (guide dog for blind, autism, special skills etc) they are best suited to. They are then turned over to professional trainers and it takes 6 months- a year or more to place them with their life partners.

I do believe there are a couple of members on the forum that are training their own service dogs.

This is a link that might interest you: Puppy Training
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricksmith View Post
I would like to get our new dog Jake trained to be a service dog (not an official therapy dog.) What is the process to make that happen?

Thanks!

Oh, and here's a picture of Jake and our son (who was born with Down Syndrome) Noah!

What a fantastic photo. Noah is gorgeous, and Jake is very cute.

Hahaha
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 12:13 AM
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Awww, a boy and his dog!

Sorry can't help with the question, but what a lovely photo.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 12:20 AM
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What a sweet picture. There have been a couple members recently posting about training their dogs to be service dogs. Hopefully they'll see this and comment.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 10:25 AM
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No help here either but nice picture of two cuties! I applaud you for trying to do all that you can for Noah. Children with Downs are now prooving that they have way more potential than was ever thought possible.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 10:32 AM
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great pic--absolutely wonderful!!
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 11:53 AM
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You need to decide if you have the ability to train him yourself, or if you need to hire a trainer. It is a long tedious process - generally two years before a dog can be considered a trained service dog.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 12:40 PM
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The picture of Noah and Jake is just precious.

I am not from TX, I'm sure maybe some of the TX members can give you more and better information. However, I did a search and came across this group-Paws Across Texas, not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for or not.

Dogs have to be at least 2 years old, have completed and passed basic obedience training and some advanced level courses as well to be considered for this program.

Paws across Texas, located in FW, TX

Paws Across Texas Animal Assisted Therapy

There is a link for the requirements and lots of info on this site.

If they aren't what you're looking for, maybe they can point you in the direction you need to go.

Best of luck to you!
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 10:04 PM
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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
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