There is no denying the fact that a dog is a man’s best friend. They are happy when you are happy, celebrate your excitement with you and often cheer you up when you feel down. However, for people with disabilities dogs can be more than just a pet, they provide companionship and loyalty beyond any person ever could because they never get tired. Their world revolves around their human.
The dogs owned by disable people are commonly known as assistant dogs. Why they have been given this name is because these wonderful creatures have been trained to
- Provide help in any way they can
- Assist their owners with daily functioning
- Provide comfort and ease
- Provide security
- Even give support in stressful situations
There are many ways to get a dog trained as an assistant dog for yourself or for a loved one. You just have to specify the needs or the disability and professionals will train your dog according to the requirement.
1. Dogs Providing Emotional Support:
Mental health issues are finally getting the awareness and attention they deserve. It is not easy to live with a mental disorder. For those suffering from mental illness need emotional support and morale boosters along with working by themselves to recover. Some dogs even provide the emotional support their owners need especially during the time of stressful situations. They help their owners stay focused when they are struggling with any mental disorder. They can sense when the person is down or is not feeling well. These dogs not only provide comfort, companionship, support and affection but have also proven to be the best of friends during a relapse or times of distress. According to the Official Service Dog Registry, these dogs may accompany individuals with
- Mood disorder
- Panic disorders
- Eating disorders
- Neurodevelopmental disorders
- Stress disorders
These dogs do not need special training, however, emotional support animals (ESAs) are authentic, even though they are not considered to be assistant animals in many countries. Therefore they are not allowed in ‘no- pet housing’. If you live in the UK you need to get your dog certified from the ADI or the IGDF, it isn’t recognized as an assistant dog. This is something to be looked into by the government as mental health issues are as serious as physical disabilities, if not more.
2. Therapy Doggo
Unlike emotional support dogs, therapy dogs require proper training. This is to prepare them for highly social nature of their jobs which requires severe obedience training. This is why according to UK’s Private Therapy Clinic therapy dogs benefit people in a therapeutic technique. Therefore these dogs are neither service dogs nor are they emotional support dogs. These dogs are trained so that they are not distracted from their jobs of providing therapy to their owners and are discouraged to be distracted to look at others while providing therapy.
These dogs are appointed in specific settings such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes and even therapy offices. These dogs are trained to provide therapy for specific types of disorders such as;
- Psychological distress
- People suffering from trauma
- Or even those suffering from a major injury
- Providing therapy for disabled children giving them encouragement and confidence.
Your Dog Can Be an Assistant Dog:
The good news is that your dog can become an assistant dog as well. With proper training and the right set of skills you can register your dog with proper certification your dog will become an assistant dog.
Consider getting your dog registered and trained if you need it. This procedure is easier than it may seem. Even an online search can tell you all you need to know about assistant dogs.