Thursday, October 27, 2016
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Monday, July 25, 2016
Tips on Training a Service Dog
Dogs have always been great companions and a source of joy for people. They are loyal, smart and protective of their families with the right socialization. Another aspect of their companionship which is beneficial for humans is being a service dog. There are several different kinds of service dogs in the United States and their main purpose is to give support in the form of doing tasks and work for their human companions. Animals or canines that provide emotional support and comfort are not actually considered as service dogs especially if they have not received any formal training under the Americans with Disabilities Act pertaining to service animals. Some states do take into consideration emotional support animals and companion dogs when it comes to bringing them to public areas where pets or animals are not usually allowed.
The Right Candidate
Professional service dog training is closely regulated by the ADA. There are training programs and schools which are associated with the organization and trusted to provide trainers and training for qualified dogs and other kinds of animals. There are instances, however, when the disabled person himself might be able to train his own dog without going through a professional service dog program. It is important that the dog in question is a good candidate as a service animal because not all canines can be service dogs since each dog has its own separate personality and temperament. There are breeds which are great bases for service dogs and professional trainers start from these breeds most of the time, although there can be other breeds that might surprise you. Some trainers also prefer to look at the lineage of the puppy. Most of the time, good service dog parents produce puppies that also have the right stuff to be service dogs.
Prospective Service Dog
If you want your puppy to join a service training program for dogs, you should first see if he has the makings of a prospective service dog. The first step to check if your puppy has the potential to be a service dog is to see how willing he is to please you. The easiest way is to play a game of fetch. You can use a small stick or a wad of paper to throw just a few feet away from you and the puppy. You might need to throw the stick a few times so the pup will notice. The desired response is for the puppy to leave your side or your lap, get the paper or stick and return to you. If the puppy drops the paper or stick on his way back to you, this is a good enough sign of willingness to work and please you.
Your puppy should also show that he recovers quickly from a surprise. Being startled with a loud bang, a sudden, high pitched sound or the sudden appearance of an open umbrella is natural. After the initial surprise your puppy should be steady again and not cower in fear. It might even be curious enough to check out the items that caused the surprise. Dogs that easily startle will have a hard time being trained service dogs.
A well socialized puppy is also a good candidate for training as a service dog. Breeders that are pegged to provide puppies as candidates for service dog training will expose them to a lot of things that usually occur in daily life such as vehicles, other animals, other people, walking in the streets and many others. Puppies that show excessive aggression may not be the right candidate for training.
Training Schools and Programs
There are several schools and organizations that offer service training programs for puppies and young dogs. The International Association of Canine Professionals mentor and guide trainers all over the world in producing top-notch service dogs and maintaining the animals’ skills and performance. Schools that are members of the IACP are updated with the best ways to train canines and to provide service and support for the people who need them. One of the best schools is in Ohio, the National K-9 Learning Center while other notable schools are in Texas, The Starmark Academy, and PAWS Training Academy.
These schools offer a puppy preschool program to form the foundation of a good service dog. Puppies need to be around 8 weeks of age to begin puppy preschool. Beginning early can be a great advantage for the puppies. A lot of these schools encourage the owner of the dog to interact during the training program so as to bond with the puppy. There is a fee for training; which is usually about $1,000 – $2,000 for an entire single program. Advanced courses and additional programs may be necessary depending on the needs of the owner.
If you are interested in getting your puppy into service dog training, you must be prepared to invest in about one to two years of training. There are two main aspects of training; public access behavior and work and tasks related to the disability of the dog owner. It is important that your puppy learn how to behave appropriately in public because as a service dog he will have access to public places where dogs are not usually allowed. As for works and tasks related to the disability of the person; the puppy will be trained commands that are commonly and uncommonly requested by the disabled individual. The puppy will also need to learn tasks which are passively-available to his owner. Examples of these include being aware of an onset of the individual’s ailemnts, such as a panic attack, an epileptic seizure and being able to alert other people to this.
Service dog training schools will stress that it is important for the disable owner to bond with the prospective service dog so that the dog will be attuned to his owner’s needs and level of comfort, baseline emotional state and physiological condition. The bond or contact will condition the dog to be aware of the slight signals that the owner gives out of an attack or relapse even before the person is aware of it. Another thing that training school will remind owners is that training is a constant in the lives of both the owner and the service dog. There will be changes which need to be addressed later in life which the dog will need to adapt to or be trained to deal with.
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Friday, June 17, 2016
Important Facts You Need to Know About Dog Boarding
One of the concerns that a dog owner has for his dog comes when there is an emergency or when travel plans solidify. We cannot always avoid accidents, illnesses and other family emergencies which may take us away from out beloved pets. Concern for their welfare and well being may preoccupy the owner and cause some worries. Overnight seems easy enough but a few days can be very difficult and worrisome.
Of course, you could always bring your dog with your when you travel or you can leave him with your neighbors, relatives and friends who are willing to take care of him. All this is well and good, if these people are used to taking care of dogs and know what to expect from your for legged buddy. Problems arise when your neighbor, relative or friend have no idea what to do with your dog. You might even have more problems when you get back if your pet got sick or may have run away in the hands of your inexperienced and untrained neighbor, relative of friend. When you do take your pet with you when you travel, there are so many different issues that could easily turn your vacation into a nightmare and your emergency situation even worse. Aside from this, you need to prepare documentation (when traveling abroad) for your dog and you also need to research whether the hotel you will stay in and the places you wish to go to are pet friendly. Not to mention the trauma that your pet might encounter when traveling (if he is not used to traveling) and the quarantine period that some countries impose.
Dog boarding is one of the options that is open to the dog owner. This involves leaving your furry friend at the home of the person who knows what he is doing and what he needs to do or a kennel. A lot of dog trainers, vets, animal experts and trustworthy kennels often offer their services and homes to care for dogs whose owners may be out of town or attending to an emergency. There are several things that you need to know about dog boarding so you will be at ease with the idea.
If you are contemplating on leaving your dog in a dog kennel for several days, you should first check out the facility personally. Some of the things that you need to check when you visit are the credentials of the people who will be caring for your dog as well as other individuals who will be in the facility during the stay. It is important to find out if these people have the right training and skills to care for your dog. Some older dogs might need additional care such as giving medication or vitamins and therapy. Other pet owners look into the grooming services of the kennel and often engage these for their pets. You might think that giving medication and vitamins is easy but there may be instances when the trained eye of a vet is necessary to assess the health and needs of your dog. It is also important to have a vet on hand, at any given time, in case of emergency. Aside from professionals who are trained and experienced with dogs, it is also great to have people on the staff who truly love dogs.
Another thing to look for when dog boarding is where your dog will stay most of the time. Avoid kennels that have small cages for each individual dog because these can be stressful for dogs that are not used to being caged. Some establishments will not allow owners to check out runs and cages because they might be too small, beware of these. Your dog might be stressed out in a place like this. Runs are alright especially if these are large enough for your dog to run around in. It is however important that each dog have its own run.
The cleanliness of the dog boarding kennel is important and should not be limited to what the eye can see. The kennel should not have an overpowering smell of dog waste and bleach. While it is important to clean all areas of the facility properly, a strong, lingering smell of bleach or any other cleaning agent could signify that the place is not well ventilated. Dogs’ health can be affected by strong chemical smells and the presence of these chemicals on the floor and furniture. Clean up should be done several times a day, as soon as possible. You should be able to check this out by visiting the kennel around eating time.
One thing that might escape your scrutiny is the security of the kennel. Ask about how safe they are regarding runaway pets. Your dog might try to escape and seek you out. This could be a huge problem and can be heartbreaking if anything should happen to your dog. Check for any times or activities that the dogs might be able to run free. In this regard, mention to the people in charge if your dog often runs away and tries to join you. They should be made aware of your dog’s proclivity of seeking out his master and family.
In terms of safety and security, some kennels do not allow visitors to interact with the dogs they have with them. Although it may seem suspicious for some people, you must understand that some visitors might carry with them germs and bacteria which can affect canines. Most likely the staff and administration of the establishment wants to avoid anything to happen to their canine charges. Go for a dog boarding kennel that has a viewing station where visitors can see the dogs without disrupting their activity.
Do not be surprised if the people in charge with the kennel has a lot of questions for you. It is their duty to know what they can about your furry friend to ensure that they can give him the best care. You should also mention any allergies or fears that your dog has. This cooperation is helpful in making sure that you dog will be comfortable and in good hands.
You can expect dog boarding to be calculated according to the length of stay of your pet and the services that you avail from the kennel. The weight and size of your dog might also affect the cost of the entire stay; this is due to the need for larger dogs to stay in larger “houses”. Prices for the most basic facility can start at around $12 per day while a midrange establishment that offers boutique services can reach up to a maximum of $55 per day. High end facilities that are more luxurious than most people hostels can reach up to a maximum of about $120 per day.
Additional activities such as personalized play time with a dedicated handler can be around $5 for each session. Individual walks can also cost around the same amount. Some kennels will bathe your dog for free before you come to pick him up or deliver him to you while others will charge around $7 for this service. Prices for luxurious spa treatments may vary but expect the cheapest to be around $10-$25 each.
For additional and more detailed information regarding dog boarding services and prices, check the following sites listed below.
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