How To Make Your Dog A Service Dog Image

How to Train Your Dog As a Service Dog?

Dogs play an integral part in our day-to-day lives. Dogs can reduce health risks, increase body fitness, reduce stress, and help us live happy lives. A service dog incorporates all these capabilities. Furthermore, service dogs are trained to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. “Service dogs are dogs with special training given to perform services related to disabled individuals,” – according to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Support dogs can come from any breed or size, and their only task is to assist his/her owner with disabilities in the right path. It is possible if you own a canine and wish to convert it into an emotional support animal. However, adopting a certified service dog is far better than training your pet to make it a service dog. 

Service Dog Requirements

If you wish to adopt a emotional support animal to assist someone (a person with disabilities), you must know certain requirements of this kind of a pet before dealing with it. So, what are they? Here we go:

  • The owner of a service animal must be a person with disabilities, either physical or mental. 
  • If the owner is physically challenged, the service dog must undergo specific training related to his/her owner’s disability. 
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  • Service dogs must have some additional public skills like handling their owners in a crowded area, ignoring other people or dogs, and not being startled by the sudden appearance of strangers or other dogs. Moreover, they should not be bothered by the surrounding noises, etc. 

It is important to train your pet to encompass all public skills if you wish to make it meet all service dog requirements. Even if a pet is not potty trained, they are not suitable as assistance dogs. The trainers call the service dogs “bomb-proof” because they don’t generally mind the distractions/startling events while remaining focused on their owners and thus doing their job perfectly. 

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How do I Make my Dog a Service Dog? 

You can train your canine to be a service dog in two ways. The first is to train service dog yourself, and the next is to enroll it in a service training program. It is a challenging task to make your pet a service animal. If you can afford to, train your dogs with the help of a trained professional. This ensures that your pet will get the proper training to work as an emotional support animal. 

Purpose of a Service Dog 

Some dogs may lack the characteristics required for a service dog. For example, if a canine owner has autism spectrum disorder, the service dog must learn to interpret their owner’s communication style so that the owner’s need has to be expressed to the outside world. In cases where the canine owner has mobility issues, a service animal should be trained to assist him or her while walking, sitting, or standing.

It is important to pay attention to the temperament level of your dog. Around 55% to 70% of the dogs, when given training, don’t suit to fulfill the purpose. Some characteristics that your dog must have are:

  • To remain calm when going or exploring new environments.
  • You must be able to focus on yourself regardless of what distractions it has. 
  • Service dogs should have a tolerance level when entering a new public ambiance. 
  • It should not bark excessively or beg for food or love while working. 
  • The dogs should be able to repeat a task assigned to them reliably. 

Get a Trainer for your Service Dog or Train it Yourself

Always look for a reputed trainer to train your dog. You can also adopt a trained service animal for your purpose or bring your pet to a reputed trainer. Either case is okay. To train your pooch yourself, however, you do not need to work with a service dog trainer. There are no proper ADA service dog registration certifications for your service dog training in the U.S. Certain organizations provide a minimum standard of training for your pets. On the other hand, if you wish to train your dog by yourself, there will be a high-level bonding between you and your dog. 

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Sessions to Train Dogs as Emotional Support Animals

This is one of the crucial steps of all. In the United States, there are no minimum requirements of a service dog for the time taken to undergo its training. But, as per some international standards, it is necessary that giving training for 120 hours of a maximum of 6 months may yield good results. Also, spending nearly 30 hours of 120 hours in public regarding training the dog to check its temperament/distraction level is recommended. Most importantly, you must provide the proper training for your service dogs to help with your needs in assisting. It is important to train a dog for specific tasks, such as smelling an emergency medical alert, reminding the owner of medications to take, panic attack alerts, etc., since these are common emergency alerts.

Attend a Test to Make your Pet a Service Dog

Several organizations have set some standards regarding when your service dog is ready to accompany its owner in public. What are all the tests that a emotional support animal have to pass:

  • When facing public or other animals, there should be no aggressive behavior as it might not retain its quality as a service canine. 
  • While on duty, it should not please someone for food or love. 
  • There should be no hyperactivity in dogs when facing the public. 
  • With a specific command given by the owner, it should relieve itself from duty. 
  • Excessive barking is not qualified. 
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Best Service Dog Breeds

There are more popular service dog breeds, but some of the few breeds that come to your mind regarding this purpose are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds. But there are many other types of service dogs that you might now know about, and it could even surprise you. 

Labrador Retriever 

By nature, Labradors are famous for their friendly and easy-going nature. This also has more intelligence, making the trainer train them easily to assist their owners. 

Golden Retriever

Because of its golden coat, this breed is named Golden Retriever. The temperament of this breed is quite impressive, and the intelligence it inherits makes it easy to train them for specific tasks. 

German Shepherd 

This breed is so popular in the service field. A high-level intelligence, fearless mind, loyal nature, and sharpness (alert) best define them and make them so popular in the field of best service dog breeds. 

Bernese Mountain Dog 

This breed is large enough to handle the weight of an adult person with disabilities. It helps disabled persons (in case of mobility issues) to get up, and it is stronger to pull a wheelchair. The owners may train these dogs to fetch and carry items whenever necessary. 

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This breed is one of the smartest breeds so it can sense the moment of a seizure. Owning this breed is an excellent choice for persons suffering from epilepsy. 


This intelligent breed can sense deadly allergies; hence, it has life-saving talent compared to other service dogs. The coats of this breed have less dander, so it causes fewer allergic reactions when compared with other breeds. 

Great Dane

The height and strength of this variety will be very helpful for mobility-impaired people as it can balance and support them. It will be a good match for psychiatric support because of its sweet and loving nature, especially for children. 

ADA Service Dog Registration

If your canine is to be recognized as a service animal, there are no such requirements to attain certification. The law recognizes dogs as service animals if trained to assist pet owners with their disabilities. Only two questions have to be answered by you to the people regarding your service dog. 

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  • Is a service animal required to assist a person with disabilities?
  • What task will the dog help in assisting its owner?

Nonetheless, some people need to be aware of the law and will ask you questions regarding your certification, vest, badge, etc. of your service dog. However, dog owners require no such things (especially disabled persons), thus making their life easier. 

Regardless, if you are wondering how to get my dog certified as a service dog, you can opt for certification from third-party companies. You should go for service dog certification only when your pet trainer feels that your furry friend is ready to serve the duty. But according to the ADA, certification from third-party companies does not grant any legal proof or additional rights to prove your pet is a service animal. In short, this expense is optional, but owners may opt for this service certification for dogs if they are okay with the cost. 


Service dogs can be well trained to help their owners regarding their disability (physical, mental, or emotional level). The services these dogs provide are impressive, as they may even close the door behind the owner to alert their owner in times of emergency. It is also a life-saving service animal that could improve your life in a better way. With proper training, they can assist you in all emergencies. And hence service dogs are one of the best helpers for the person with disabilities.