Dogs are naturally loyal animals. When trained right, they desire to perform tasks to help their owners whether that’s a sheep dog working a ranch or a service dog as a live-in helper and companion to the blind. It gives these dogs pleasure to serve and be needed, and you can see it when they are rewarded with praise or treats. This is what makes dogs such good companions whether they are family pet or a dog trained to work.
Service or Companion Dogs
Dogs trained for specific tasks are either service dogs or companion dogs, with certifications for both.
Both types of dogs are trained to have a special sense to know their owners. For companion dogs, this is primarily to know when their owner may be feeling down. Also, to empathize with their owners when the dog sees certain body language or expressions. Companion dogs also are trained to have a special knack for calming people down who may trigger easily for stress, such as someone with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For these and other reasons, dogs make good emotional support animals.
Emotional Support Dog Certification
Emotional support animals are different than highly trained service dogs for the blind or other impairments. Emotional support dog certification consists of a therapist or doctor meeting with the owner and the dog for an evaluation. The therapist or doctor will observe the interaction between the owner and the dog, and even test the dog’s patience to see how the dog will behave in stressful situations. If the dog is deemed fit, they are certified by letter to accompany the owner in public places and on public transportation where other dogs would not be allowed.
Spotting An Emotional Support Dog
Per certification guidelines, in public emotional support dogs are required to wear a service dog vest. If you’re thinking of having your dog go through the certification process you can look for a service dog vest for sale online. The vest is to alert the public that the dog is there as a helper, and not to be played with. Most people will respect the vest. However, some people who love animals or moms who want their child to see a dog will come over and try to pet the dog. This is not the trained role of the dog and actually confuses the dog. For this reason, you can purchase patches that say, “No Petting” or “Don’t Pet Me Please.”
Per certification guidelines emotional support dogs are required to where a service dog vest when in public. If you’re thinking of having your dog go through the certification process you can look for a service dog vest for sale online.