Animal Psychology Center in Philip and Rapid City, South Dakota, provides service dogs to those who are emotionally and/or physically disabled. I help provide the right dog for you, then create and build a relationship with them that is based on team work and trust. In this way, your leadership skills are developed and you build confidence.
In the course of training you and your dog, we will cover basic and advanced obedience, social skills, group class and public access work (navigating public places). Specific training is also done for your disability. Examples of this would be diabetic alert, seizure/panic alert, balance/stability issues, PTSD, Hearing/sight issues and many others.
There are three ways you can obtain a service dog:
- First, give me a call, so I can evaluate and see if your current dog can be trained for service.
- Second, if you want a service dog but don’t want to raise a puppy, I can interview and gather information on your disabilities and needs, then find an adult dog that suits your needs. I need to know what breeds you like. This is similar to matchmaking where we get the right dog for you.
- Third is getting a puppy from my breeding program or other breeders that I work with. These puppies are specifically bred for service work and make great candidates.
What is a Service Animal and what are its characteristics?
- A dog according to titles II and III of the ADA, except for miniature horses under specific guidelines and conditions.
- A dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
- Not a pet.
- Allowed to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.
- Harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless these items interfere with their work.
- Under control at all times.
- Shows no aggression toward people or other animals.
- Ignores all other stimuli except those trained to trigger a response.
Service animals are valuable tools to the disabled. They provide liberty, mobility, healthcare, and companionship to people struggling to live each day in a society which only accepts "norms."
Please respect the hard work and integrity of the service animal and his or her handler. If you want to have one, put time and hard work to train one.
Don't sacrifice your pet to the rigors and discipline of being a SDiT then a SD. Most will never be able to carry the responsibility of it. Enjoy your pets, and rely on your work dogs to be what they were meant to be... the very extension of your mind, body, and soul.
After all, they may save one or all of them some day. That's their job.