I was pleased to have our company and one of our service dog clients featured recently in a story done by KUTV Channel 2 in Utah.
Check out the video-
This is the second time I’ve been on the local news talking about this issue.
You can see where I talked with KSL in Utah a couple years ago-
Check out the video-
I think this is an issue that warrants talking about. We get a lot of calls from clients who want service dog training in Utah. They’ve seen service dogs in public, seen them on the news, and are aware of their existence. Each year awareness of these service animals increases.
Unfortunately, with this increased awareness also comes those who are seeking to cheat the system. According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) a service dog must perform a task to aid a person with a disability and must have the proper training to be allowed into public with their dog.
A dog does not need to be professionally trained (Service dog training in utah), does not need a certification, and does not need any registration.
But that does not mean that any old dog is allowed into public. The dog must fulfill the two foundational requirements of performing at least one task and having public access level obedience and behavior.
It is also helpful to understand that emotional support animals (ESAs) are not considered service animals and do not have rights of public access. If your dog’s one ‘job’ is to make you feel better with his or her presence that does not qualify as a service dog. The dog must perform a behavior that aids you, and just being there doesn’t count.
There are a wide variety of behaviors that dogs can be taught to do to aid people with disabilities. While we don’t train every variety of service dog at our company there are several tasks that we’ll often train:
For PTSD or anxiety disorders: We’ll frequently teach a ‘pattern interrupt’. This is a behavior where the dog learns to recognize a stress episode or panic arising and to use physical touch, pressure, or otherwise distract the owner. We’ll also teach behaviors where the dog can create space in public by putting his or her body in between the owner and the public. We’ve also taught behaviors where the dog can go find a loved one to help in the event of an anxiety episode. There are other behaviors we’ve taught and the list is endless on what a service dog can dog for someone with PTSD.
For Diabetes: We can teach a dog to smell a lowering or increasing of blood sugar and alert the owner to this potential danger.
For Seizures: We’ve taught dogs to get help when someone has a seizure, to bark, or to otherwise aid the owner.
For Autism or Aspergers: We’ve taught many dogs to search out the child who runs away, to tether in public to prevent the child from running, to aid in ‘meltdowns’ with pressure, and many other tasks to aid a child with autism.
While these are the typical service dogs we’ve trained we’ve also done work for people with hearing impairments, mobility challenges, and other disabilities.
In every case, though, it’s important to have a well balanced dog who is well trained in public who performs tasks to help in a disability. If you can accomplish that level of training without help there is no law that says you need to use a professional dog trainer. If you do need help with your service dog training we invite you to Dog training contact