Service dogs are selected, trained and tested to perform specific tasks that mitigate a person’s disability. Service dogs are working animals. They are not pets. A service dog increases a person’s independence, safety, and improves the quality of life for people with disabilities.
A well-trained service dog can help people with:
- mobility issues such as arthritis, spinal injuries, MS or stroke
- medical problems such as seizures, chronic vertigo and diabetes
- patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression who have task specific needs.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), privately owned businesses that serve the public are required to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed.
To be eligible for a service dog, you must have a qualifying disability with a written recommendation for a service dog by your treating physician or mental health professional.
Muttschool customizes a service dog’s training to meet your needs specifically. We provide different options to train dogs for mobility assistance, hearing, medical or psychiatric needs:
- Supervised owner training: Under the instruction and supervision of our certified trainers, you will work with your own service dog from the beginning. We want you to be involved in training your own dog because this produces a stronger bond between you and the dog. It also gives you the skills to train additional tasks or to catch problem behaviors before they arise.
- Fully-trained service dogs: If for any reason you are unable to train your own dog, MuttSchool instructors will do the training for you. We will always encourage you to participate in training sessions.
The requirements for training a service dog differ greatly depending on the tasks the dog needs to perform. If you are interested in a service dog, we would recommend that you set up a consultation with one of our certified instructors to discuss service dog training and your level of participation.
Please note: If you have a dog already and you think it has the potential to become a service dog, one of our service dog instructors would be happy to assess the dog’s potential. Not every dog has the qualities to make a good service dog and handle the tasks required. We would also be happy to help match you with the right dog for the tasks.