A service dog is a dog trained to mitigate the disability of his or her owner. The disability could be visible or invisible, medical, emotional or psychiatric in origin. Disabilities often fit into more than one category.A Service Dog could be on duty within the home only and on up to and including support for his/her person 24/7. Each person’s needs may be different and needs often change and evolve over time.
Service dogs must have a solid foundation of basic good manners/general obedience for out of home work which includes work in public settings and lots of socialization. Training for service dog work includes identifying functions and setting up a treatment plan with realistic goals and techniques. Dogs can be owner trained to perform a variety of behaviors including mobility support, pulling a wheelchair, turning lights on/off, opening/closing doors, retrieval of objects such as cordless phones, pill bottles, drinks, purses, keys, etc. Dogs can be trained to help motivate someone who is depressed, and alert to seizures. For more details on American Disabilities Act (ADA) including regulations on Service Dogs, go HERE. For more details on basics on Service Dogs go, HERE. For Delta Society’s Standards For Service Dogs, go HERE. For Delta Society’s FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SERVICE DOGS, go HERE To read my chapter from The Golden Bridge on raising a puppy for service dog work, click HERE -=-=-=- Rachel’s affinity for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum has led to a specialization in Autism Assistance Dogs. An autism assistance dog can help bridge the social/emotional problems of children on the autism spectrum in a variety of ways, including but not limited to difficulty with peer interactions, self esteem, repetitive behaviors, temper tantrums, sensory issues, etc. The prerequisite is at minimum a child’s love of and gentleness with animals, especially dogs, and willing and participating adults in the child’s life. Service dogs for children with special needs is a 3 way relationship between dog, child and responsible adults (parents, teacher’s aids, teachers, therapists, etc.). Services include but are not necessarily limited to the following:
•Help acquiring a suitable puppy or dog candidate for children and/or adult clients.
•Evaluating an existing dog for suitability for service dog training.
•Guidance in various forms in teaching you how to raise & train your dog for service.
•Support, coaching, linking to appropriate additional resources, board & train options, etc.
•Advocate if/when necessary with systems including mental health, schools (IEP), PT, OT, etc. Local in home service dog training limited to 75 mile radius of Cleveland, OH. Should you be willing to travel, accommodations can be made in Cleveland for those interested. Email for more details.
While hands on direct service is always best, there are those who can work effectively using webcam, telephone, IM or email contact. This is especially helpful for those who live in areas with no suitable trainers.
and contact us if interested in more info or to schedule an initial meeting.
Fees for service dog training are customized for each client and discussed in advance. For more general information about Service Dogs, check out International Association of Assistance Dog Partners, Delta Society and Autism Speaks.
“For perhaps, if the truth were known, we’re all a little blind, a little deaf, a little handicapped, a little lonely, a little less than perfect. And if we can learn to appreciate and utilize the dog’s full potentials, we will, together, make it in this life on earth.”
- Charlotte Schwartz, Friend to Friend – Dogs That Help Mankind