A physical assistance service dog can help with many physical disabilities including hearing, slight visual impairment, and not being able to get up or move an item. There are many tasks that can be performed by a dog that can allow a handler more freedom to do things by themselves such as grocery shopping or even the act of being able to go outside in public. A physical assistance dog can help prevent both medical limitations and accidents. Medical limitations that a dog may be able to help with could include picking up and retrieving items, stability for getting up and down or walking, alerting for medications, and much more! There are also tasks that can help improve safety measures such as breaking or assisting falls or seizures and going for help. Most often physical assistance dogs are a medium to large breed dog as they are performing tasks that may take physical strength. The size of your dog will be a deciding factor on weather or not they are accepted into our program as it can limit their ability to perform needed tasks for the handler’s disability.
All service dog programs with All Stage Canine Development begin with a detailed 2 hour consult with both the disabled person and the dog they wish to be trained. We do three separate evaluations during this time. First, we determine if the dog is an actual fit for the program. Do they have any behavior issues or physical limitations that would prevent them from being a good service dog? Does the dog have appropriate drives to perform the desired tasks for the disability? Second, we look at the person and their specific disability. Is the person mentally and physically able to work with the dog as we need them in order to practice the directions given for training to make this successful? Lastly, we look at the relationship between the person and their dog. Do they seem to have a good bond and communication foundation between the two that will allow building new relationship challenges?
Any dog accepted into our service dog training program will start with obedience which is verified by an evaluation before moving forward. After the obedience is verified, public access skills are worked on and also tested in two locations on two separate days. This will help us verify that the dog is solid in public, had the appropriate relationship with its handler, and does not pose a threat to the general public if placed in a concerning situation. Following the obedience and public access verification, task work is then started with the handler based on their specific disability and needs. Our goal is to help people train their own dogs to be a service dog at a reasonable cost. We educate the importance of understanding both their rights and responsibilities as a service dog owner. This program takes a lot of effort from the person to ensure its success. For those who graduate from the program, the bond between the handler and their service dog is unbreakable and we think that is AMAZING.