Brigadoon Service Dog FAQs (2016)
1. Do service dogs ever get to “just be dogs?”
Yes! When a service dog is not working, they enjoy playing fetch, chewing on bully sticks, cuddling on the couch, and doing all sorts of regular dog things!
2. Can I pet your dog? Why not?
Sorry, no. When service dogs are working, they need to stay focused on their handler. Petting (and talking, calling over, offering food, or reaching your hand out to the dog) distract the dog.
3. How do I make my dog a service dog?
First of all, you must have a disabling condition in order to be eligible for a service dog. Secondly, your dog has to undergo extensive training in order to be a service dog. This training typically takes two years. Finally, training and socialization are costly, time-consuming, and difficult – most service dogs start from puppyhood and are trained by professionals who invest thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into the dog. So before you consider the route of making your dog a service dog, carefully think over these considerations! If you still want to train your own dog, steps would include training your dog in basic obedience, putting it through intensive socialization, getting a thorough veterinarian exam, working to pass a Canine Good Citizen Test, and then working on task training and public access practice.