What is a Service Dog?
Service dogs are defined in the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and are dogs that are specifically trained to help people with disabilities. For example, service dogs can be trained to help people who have PTSD, mobility impairments, are deaf or hard of hearing, have diabetes or many other conditions. We can help people with disabilities train their own dog to assist them as a service dog. At Canine Interaction our focus is on Autism service dog, psychiatric service dog, hearing dog and mobility.
Service Dog Training
- Have a disability as defined by the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992
- Are over 18 or have a primary parent or carer to assist with the training
- Able to participate in training lessons over an extended period of time. The initial training can take a year, two, or even longer.
- Able to commit time to practicing with your dog regularly between appointments.
- Aware that you may end up with a dog that can only help at home or in places pets are allowed. Up to 50% of service dog candidates in programs world wide are not able to complete training and work in places pets are not permitted.
- Willing to wait until we evaluate your dog’s suitability and help you train your dog foundation skills before putting service dog identification on your dog and before taking your dog to places pets are not permitted.
- Have support from your licensed healthcare provider for use of a service dog.
- No history of aggression towards dogs, people or other animal
- Easily trained. A breed or mix likely to have characteristics suitable for service work. Each dog is assessed as an individual but some breeds are more likely to exhibit characteristics suitable for service work than others.
- No history of any serious behavior problems like fear or separation anxiety
- Under age 3, physically healthy.
Our Service Dog Process
Step 1: We begin with a 20 minute virtual appointment. This is when we will answer your questions, gather information about your dog and your needs, give you important information about service dog training as well as training recommendations to get started. Fee $30.
Step 2: We conduct an 60 minute evaluation of your dog. This is when we look at how your dog responds to some minor stressors in a new situation to see if it is appropriate to begin training him or her for service work. This is conducted at one of our sites or a local area. Fees $85
Step 3: Training for service work if your dog is suitable. This process usually takes 1 – 2 years but can take longer. Process includes training at our facility, in your home, at on location. These sessions can be arranged 1:1 or in groups. Fees $85 per hour. Group sessions are charged at different rates, depending on the location, activity and people involved.
Step 4: Follow-up support. Help to maintain your dog’s training throughout your service dog’s working career. Fees $85/hour.
Is a Service Dog right for me?
Training your own service dog is not an easy process. There is much to consider like time and cost.
To train a service dog can cost up to $5000 (approx.) and can take up to 2 years.
Not all dogs can end up working as service dogs, time and money cannot guarantee that your dog is suitable, especially if you didn't choose your dog for this type of work at the start.
We will discuss this in more detail during the 20min virtual session.
If you have not yet purchased your dog, we highly recommend having a session with Megan to discuss suitability of breeds and temperament to help increase the chances of a good service dog match.
Megan is a qualified Service Dog Coach
Dog Selection workshop