How To Train A Service Dog For Balance
Service Training

How To Train A Service Dog For Balance

  • October 16, 2021

Before training brace or balance work, trainers need to determine if the task is safe for both members of the team by consulting with a veterinarian and the owner’s healthcare provider.An attorney can assist with creating release forms that will ensure trainers have the proper permission to discuss the details of their clients’ cases with medical providers.Adaptive equipment – like walkers, crutches or canes – selected with guidance from a qualified rehabilitation professional may be more effective and safer than having the dog provide direct support.Additionally, home modifications like grab bars and lift chairs, and strategies taught by a rehabilitation professional may reduce the likelihood of a fall.Other commonly trained tasks for mobility service dogs, like picking up dropped objects, opening doors and assisting with dressing, may also be helpful.For some individuals with disabilities, simply resting a hand on the dog’s harness, without putting any pressure on it, gives enough sensory feedback to facilitate their mobility.By proceeding carefully and consulting veterinarians and healthcare professionals, trainers can make sure that they are working ethically, safely and appropriately when training service dogs for people with mobility impairments. .

Service Dogs 101: Everything You Need To Know About Service Dogs

Service Dogs 101: Everything You Need To Know About Service Dogs

Service Dogs 101: Everything You Need To Know About Service Dogs

A service dog is a dog specifically trained to perform work for a person with a disability.The benefits service dogs can provide also continue to expand.In 2019, service dogs are trained from among many different breeds, and perform an amazing variety of tasks to assist disabled individuals.What Is a Service Dog?According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service dog is “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”.A service dog is trained to take a specific action whenever required, to assist a person with their disability.Canine Companions for Independence, Inc. (CCI) maintains breeding program of Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers.CCI states, “Breeder dogs and their puppies are the foundation of our organization.”.For example, emotional support animals (ESAs) are animals that provide comfort just by being with a person.The ADA makes a distinction between psychiatric service dogs and emotional support animals.Owners of ESAs may be eligible for access to housing that is not otherwise available to pet dog owners, and travelers may be permitted bring ESAs into the cabins on commercial flights under specified conditions.Many groups that train therapy dogs or that take dogs on pet therapy visits have matching ID tags, collars, or vests.Professional service dog training organizations and individuals who train service dogs are located throughout the U.S.This may include training for the person with a disability who receives the dog and periodic follow-up training for the dog to ensure working reliability.How to Train Your Own Service Dog.The ADA does not require service dogs to be professionally trained.Individuals with disabilities have the right to train a service dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog trainer or training program.Individuals who wish to train their own service dogs should first work with their candidate dog on foundation skills.Socialize the dog with the objective of having it remain on task in the presence of unfamiliar people, places, sights, sounds, scents, and other animals.Under ADA rules, in situations where it is not obvious that a dog is a service animal, only two questions may be asked: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform?The AKC also works with the American Service Dog Access Coalition, a charitable not-for-profit organization comprised of major service dog groups, service dog access providers, advocates for the disabled, service dog trainers, and policymakers seeking to improve access for legitimate service dog teams while incentivizing high quality behavioral standards for all service dogs, and educating the public about the crime of service dog fraud.

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Brace and Mobility Support Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

Brace and Mobility Support Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

Brace and Mobility Support Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

This invaluable service is matched only by these dogs’ ability to also help with other chores and tasks, like opening doors or retrieving dropped items.Mobility Dogs help people with impaired balance, gait, or coordination to safely walk or regain their footing after a fall, and they help individuals who utilize prosthetics or other assistive devices, including wheelchairs, gain unprecedented levels of independence, freedom and mobility.People partnered with a Brace and Mobility Support Dog (BMSD) may or may not be able to walk unassisted, and they may or may not be in a wheelchair.All dogs that are partnered with a person with a disability, and that also possess specialized training that directly reduces or mitigates the effect of that person’s disability on their quality of life or ability to function like someone without a disability, are legally defined as “Service Animals.” That definition includes Brace and Mobility Support Dogs, and many of the common tasks brace or mobility dogs perform (like assisting a handler to walk or pulling a wheelchair) are directly mentioned in the Americans With Disabilities Act briefing that details the legal rights of Service Dog teams, as well as in the “Frequently Asked Questions About Service Animals and the ADA” document provided by the Department of Justice.Under U.S. federal law, Service Animals and their handler (who must, without exception, have a physical, developmental, psychiatric or other disability as defined under United States law), possess certain rights, one of which is the right to access goods and services, including transportation and lodging, without discrimination.The dog must be able to not only learn the proper protocols, procedures and tasks for mitigating and responding to their handler’s disability, but they must also be able to implement them at home, in regularly visited places, and, periodically, in unfamiliar environments.A Brace and Mobility Support Dog who is partnered with a person who is medically fragile might have to work during the chaos of an emergency.Running to wake up another person who resides or works in the home and return with them to the disabled individual, if their handler is unresponsive, or if their medical equipment is alarming.Helping someone with severely limited mobility or a significantly decreased level of alertness maneuver into a safer or more stable position.The Service Dog might even have specific work to do that involves the EMTs or medical personnel, such as opening the front door and leading EMS to their handler’s location.They may have to do their job while surrounded by strangers who may or may not be familiar with working dogs, disabilities or proper medical response.The consequences of missteps or failure on the part of the Service Dog, especially due to hurried selection, improper temperament or incomplete training, can be truly dreadful.It cannot be stressed enough — all canine candidates selected and trained for brace and mobility support task work and any associated task work pertaining to their handler’s safety must possess the proper structure, genetics, health, temperament, aptitude, reliability, capability and training to succeed and flourish.It cannot be stressed enough — all canine candidates selected and trained for brace and mobility support task work and any associated task work pertaining to their handler’s safety must possess the proper structure, genetics, health, temperament, aptitude, reliability, capability and training to succeed and flourish.People who have physical disabilities that cause irregularities in gait, stability, balance, movement, or ambulation, including cerebral palsy , multiple sclerosis , spinal bifida and many malformations or injury of the bones, joints or muscles in the lower body or spinal column., , and many malformations or injury of the bones, joints or muscles in the lower body or spinal column People with disabilities that cause debilitating pain, dizziness and/or severe fatigue, and as a result, reduce the ability to walk without assisstance and/or to perform daily chores and duties – some types of migraines and fibromyalgia are examples.and are examples People who need assistance transitioning from one position to another, such as from sitting to standing, or from one spot to another, such as from a wheelchair to a recliner.People who require medical assistance or who need the ability to reach others on an emergent basis as a result of their disability, and they need help securing that assistance – one example is someone with a neurological disorder or cardiac disorder or metabolic disorder that results in unconsciousness and/or a marked inability to ambulate, and they need assistance getting their phone in hand or help calling EMS or another designated contact, and they need the ability for that help to be summoned whether or not they’re conscious or able to reach a phone.or or that results in unconsciousness and/or a marked inability to ambulate, and they need assistance getting their phone in hand or help calling EMS or another designated contact, and they need the ability for that help to be summoned whether or not they’re conscious or able to reach a phone People who require tactile grounding in order to orient and position themselves, or in order to ambulate, such as in the case of vertigo or another balance disorder.People who, due to their disability, stumble, stagger or regularly trip, and thus require bracing or counter balancing, to remain on their feet.People who have a disability that results in reduced awareness or an altered perception of the environment, and/or that causes confusion, disorientation or a reduction in physical or mental functioning, like some traumatic brain injuries.People whose disability, whether physical or psychiatric, is treated by doctor-prescribed medications with side effect profiles resulting in symptoms that cause drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, impaired alertness or otherwise affect the ability to safely ambulate or respond to emergency situations.resulting in symptoms that cause drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, impaired alertness or otherwise affect the ability to safely ambulate or respond to emergency situations People who need assistance moving their wheelchair, especially on inclines or across difficult terrain.People who have a reduction of strength, stability, flexibility or coordination anywhere in their body that prevents the person from being as mobile or as independent as they would like.People who need assistance with both mobility and the daily tasks made difficult by reduced mobility, like opening drawers, doors and cabinets, picking up dropped items, reaching light switches or pull chains, quickly responding to phone calls or the doorbell, carrying heavy things and many, many, many others.There are an unquantifiable number of disabilities that aren’t mentioned above that result in impairments or reductions in ambulatory ability and/or mobility.Mobility Assistance Dogs who pull wheelchairs, wagons or small carts, or who carry heavy medical equipment like oxygen tanks, also wear specialized harnesses so they can safely perform their tasks.However, brace work, wheelchair pulling and other physically taxing tasks shouldn’t be trained or used until the dog has finished growing and their growth plates have fully closed.Most Mobility Dogs don’t begin fully working until they’re at least 2 years of age, for safety reasons.Like all Service Dogs, BMSDs need to be free from fear, timidity, aggression and reactivity, and their temperament should be extremely balanced, calm and relaxed.BMSD candidates should be free from all joint and skeletal disorders, and they should be screened for genetic illnesses common in their breed.A large man could require a dog that’s 28 – 30+ inches tall and that weighs over a hundred pounds.A rule of thumb is that your hand should be within 6 to 8 inches, and definitely no more than 10”, of your dog’s withers if your partner will be performing brace work while you’re standing.If you utilize your dog for other mobility tasks or a different type of physical support, such as wheelchair transfers or assistance changing positions, then your dog’s size should offer adequate weight, mass and strength to perform the job safely without undue strain.Ricardo E.

Carbajal, chairman of the USA Breed Advisory Committee, states that “proper structure is the anatomical design that offers the least resistance to movement.” He goes on to note that “a dog with good working drives but improper structure cannot take advantage of its hardware to perform to its fullest potential.” Breeds vary widely in their build and structure, but experts in the field agree that a dog optimally built for work and athleticism will showcase a smooth stride and appear to be well-balanced over all.There are many breeds that are known for their athletic build and for structures that have been carefully honed over the years for performance, working, endurance and soundness.As stated earlier, Service Dogs should be free from timidity, anxiety, fear, reactivity and aggression in all situations.They should be able to relax in all situations, regardless of the amount of distraction or chaos around them, but they should also be able to quickly and accurately respond to their handler’s requests, cues and commands.They aren’t utterly disconnected from the environment, and they’re not so overly engaged as to be easily distracted or uninterested in their handler.There are enough things that disqualify a dog from serving in an assistance capacity that you shouldn’t set yourself up for an uphill battle from the very start.If you’re looking for a candidate from a shelter or rescue, it’s vital that you be prepared to perform health testing and X-rays (hip, elbow and spine, at the very least) yourself.There are dozens of organizations across the United States that train, or even specialize in, BMSDs, although it’s also quite common for people to owner-train with the assistance of a reputable and skilled local trainer.This can mean introducing all kinds of variables into the training process, including position changes, heavy distraction or off-the-wall scenarios to help a dog “generalize” their task work.When it comes to complex behaviors (like retrieving a beverage from the fridge or opening the front door and leading first responders back to their unconscious handler, their training needs to be solid to the point the dog can perform it without assistance or guidance.Their manners, behavior and skills should be above reproach, because it may be necessary for strangers to direct the dog until the handler is able to take management back over.Most canine nutritionists recommend feeding a grain free food that has meat and quality protein as the first several ingredients.When your dog is in optimal body condition, you should be able to see a clearly defined waist, but not be able to see hip bones, spine or ribs.Heartworm preventative is strongly recommended for most areas of the country, and regular worming as well to handle other internal parasites, such as tapeworms.If you don’t vaccinate for the other common canine diseases, including parvo and distemper, consider doing a titre test so you can be certain your dog has immunity.You guys can enjoy a game of fetch or tug, snuggle while watching a movie, take up trick training for fun, or basically anything that gives your partner’s mind and body a chance to rest. .

Balance Service Dogs for Multiple Sclerosis

Balance Service Dogs for Multiple Sclerosis

Balance Service Dogs for Multiple Sclerosis

If you are living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a service dog might improve your quality of life and help keep you safe and healthy.MS produces a variety of symptoms, and the illness can make it difficult for you to get around, interfere with your balance, and impair your vision.These highly trained animals can perform a wide variety of tasks that help in all of these areas and more.There are a number of considerations that you should keep in mind if you are thinking about adopting a service dog to help you cope with your MS.Sensing when you are tired or off-balance and encouraging you to rest by gently nudging you toward a chair or wall.Make sure you think about whether you will remain committed to your dog for the long-term and not just interested in his or her services for a few months or a few years.According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, service dogs have every right to be anywhere that you are required to be.But MS can cause a number of symptoms, some of which are not obvious to others, and you may be asked to explain or verify your need for a service dog.There are places that cannot allow a service dog, such as hospital intensive care units, grocery stores, construction sites, and some athletic facilities.It is best to check the rules regarding service dogs ahead of time to avoid unpleasant surprises.Sometimes, financial assistance is available to help with the purchase, training, and continuing expenses of owning a balance dog.You can ask service dog organizations for references to help you find a good trainer. .

Mobility Assistance Dogs

Mobility Assistance Dogs

Mobility Assistance Dogs

Man’s best friend is the greatest way to describe dogs, and it continues to hold true at Canine Partners for Life.Not only do dogs give you unrivaled love and affection from their adorable puppy stage until they grow old, but they can also support and assist you if you have a mobile disability.Having a canine companion will help you complete daily tasks with ease and enlighten your emotional state.For example, dogs trained to assist with mobility can open automatic doors, retrieve out-of-reach objects and bring up dropped articles to your hands.Instead of struggling on your own to finish daily movements, your mobility service dog can act as your support system with everything you do.It’s vital to reward your assistant dog with verbal reassurance as well as treats, encouragement and playtime.Both you and the canine have regulations and particular rights such as transportation, lodging and access to goods and services without discrimination.Service dogs are available to people who cannot perform daily tasks because of a physical impairment, disorder or disability that affects their ambulation, mobility or maneuverability.Any type of medical condition that inhibits you from living independently often grants you access to work with a mobility dog.Even if you have prosthetics or assistive devices like a wheelchair, scooter, cane, walker, crutches, braces or lifts, a support dog can help you perform an insurmountable number of functions throughout the day.People who need extra provisions with balancing, standing, remaining stable, moving around, getting help, interacting with people and the environment, monitoring medical alarms and communicating in states of emergency are also those who can benefit from working with an assistance dog — along with those who experience debilitating pain, dizziness or severe fatigue that reduces their ability to walk without assistance.If you require provisions when transitioning from one position to the next like sitting or standing or if you need medical assistance while waiting for professionals to arrive, service dogs can handle any situation with proper training.At Canine Partners for Life, we first select your mobility assistance dog based on its innate abilities and characteristics.The intense, rigorous and precise nature of their work requires behavioral and training standards and it’s vital for mobility support dogs to perform jobs well even in challenging and distracting environments.Many mobility service dogs perform physical tasks that require meticulous attention to details and precise movements as well as knowing about behavioral changes in their human.Mobility service dogs are trained to respond directly to you, with the ability to independently implement various tasks at home, in public or other environments that may be unfamiliar.It comes down to the vital question of, “what breeds of dog are best for mobility assistance?” Many canines have an athletic build and structure, not to mention their capacity to listen, learn and train.Classic traits and characteristics of these breeds embrace the skills to be responsive and quiet as well as social and friendly.Canine Partners for Life is a non-profit organization where we believe the lives of those we serve will change forever when we provide them with a mobility assistance service dog.You will gain a stable relationship with a service or companion dog that knows how to perform various tasks during individual situations.If you’re interested in working with a mobility service dog, reach out to Canine Partners for Life and download the application below. .

Training Your Own Service Dog

Starting with three basic commands and generous time and attention — and lots of biscuits and kisses — you can train your four-legged friend to eventually become the best medical device you have.Because Bastien was usually calm, Mitchell knew something was wrong and thought she had better get him outside, so she pulled on her robe and opened her bedroom door.She waited five years, never hearing a word from the school, before discovering there was no U.S. law against training your own assistance dog.The first step to owner-training is the most important: choosing the appropriate dog for its temperament and your personality.After carefully choosing a mixed breed for his temperament and personality to fit her own personality and lifestyle, Mitchell says it took two years to train her Newfoundland/Australian shepherd to do everything she needed him to do for her.With these three commands, Bastien can retrieve items, open and close doors, pull on or off socks and clothes, get things out of the refrigerator and help Mitchell fold the laundry.“You don’t want a dog who’s aggressive or fearful, you want a nice dog with a rock-solid, even-keel, easy-going temperament.“Look at the breed’s energy level and your lifestyle.Almost all of Bastien’s tasks reduce Mitchell’s need to wheel herself during the day, as he retrieves and delivers things at home between Mitchell and her sister, or to and from co-workers in her office.Right now, we’re working on him pulling my wheelchair to me.”.Mitchell got Bastien four years ago when he was 7 weeks old.Mitchell suggests taking two months to solidify obedience commands before teaching assistance tasks.Mitchell uses the “clicker training” method to train Bastien.“But, you have to begin to randomize the rewards after he learns a behavior.“You don’t want a dog who will only work if they get a treat or reward, you want one who knows what he’s doing and will do it when you ask him to do it.”.Like Mitchell, Holly Koester initially trained her puppy, but then let a service training school teach her dog the basic commands and tasks for Koester to continue.By fostering her own dog for a year and a half, Koester had already basic-trained the Lab, so it only took three months for Spokes to learn assistance tasks.Before teaching the dog partners how to clicker-train, ADAI taught them what it was like for the dog to learn the process.This was for us to learn what to expect and how to work with the clicker.”.To teach opening doors, Koester held a treat up to the door and allowed the dog to jump up towards the treat.Koester is constantly teaching her assistance dog new things.Now with her assistance-dog training certification, Spokes can go anywhere Koester goes, including grocery shopping where the dog carries and drops cans and boxes into the shopping cart for Koester.“Before, I’d be in line and people would step in front of me, or they didn’t think I was doing the shopping or that somebody else would pay for things for me.Now with Spokes, people see me.Training your own assistance dog takes training in itself.By team, George means the partner and the dog.“You don’t know a dog’s temperament until they start to get older and are exposed to things.”.George and Kelley agree that some breeds are better than others to learn assistance training.Top Dog suggests mixed breeds — those with an edge are breeds from the sporting or working groups.While task training, George says to think carefully about what word you want to use.Dogs don’t know English, so you can teach them any word.By attaching a treat or praise to the word, they’ll learn how to do it.“Give me five” will get Liberty to lift her paw to shake hands, and for Liberty to find the cordless phone in one of three places, George says, “ring-ring.”.When teaching the dog to retrieve the phone on command, George would put another object nearby.“I can’t bend over and pick up waste in public, so I make sure Liberty goes at home before we go out.I encourage petting, I’m shy and it’s a good bridge for me to meet people.Rock got Bob when the dog was 1.5 years old and has trained him since.Rock says while in public, Bob will alert him to approaching strangers or even friends.Another time, Mitchell says she boarded her daily bus to work and while the bus driver was strapping down Mitchell’s chair, Bastien let out a deep bark.“He knows he’s supposed to be quiet on the bus and in public, so I knew something was wrong,” Mitchell recounts.Those in the service dog industry stress the importance of making sure your assistance dog is well-behaved in public.Partners we talked to all agree that knowing their dogs from the time they were young animals allow them to understand their dog’s instincts as well as their habits and behavior.Top Dog of Tucson, Ariz., one of very few owner-trained service dog programs in the country, encourages dog owners to attend classes, where they are partnered with a volunteer training assistant.The beginner’s course teaches basic dog obedience, including sit, come, stay, down, heel, and also how to understand the dog and breed characteristics.After the intermediate class, the team takes the Assistance Dogs International public access test.“The problem is there are an awful lot of service dogs out there that have very little training,” Kelley says.ES dogs provide comfort or emotional support to a person who has a psychiatric disability.He warns it will turn the public off to accepting service dogs and could create backlash demanding that service dogs be banned from public.

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How To Afford A Service Dog

How To Afford A Service Dog

How To Afford A Service Dog

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions.Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is accurate.Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site.While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate.Service dogs are trained to provide assistance and therapy to people with disabilities.These costs can include the following:.For many individuals who need a service dog, these costs can be way out of their budget.However, there are several organizations that provide free or partial financial assistance to veterans, individuals who are visually impaired and individuals with physical disabilities.They also provide alternative methods of financing a service dog, even if you don’t meet the specific requirements to receive full financial assistance.How to get a service dog.There are many programs that match people with service dogs, and most specialize in certain medical conditions or needs.Before your service dog comes home, you’ll want to prepare your living space with dog food, toys and other pet supplies.Several organizations provide grant assistance for individuals who need a service dog.Organizations that can help include the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which provides service dog benefits and matches vets with accredited organizations.Nonprofit organizations also train and match service dogs with people in need.If you don’t meet specific requirements for financial assistance from an organization and are unable to fundraise, personal loans can be another option for financing your service dog.Unlike grants or fundraisers, personal loans must be repaid, but you may be able to find loan amounts high enough to cover the costs of adoption, training and vet visits, even if you have bad credit.Programs that provide complete or partial financial assistance.Below is a list of fully accredited organizations, programs and grants that can help.Programs for veterans.Many of these organizations do not charge for the dog or the dog’s training.If you don’t qualify for full financial assistance, it’s possible to adopt your own dog and utilize a certified independent trainer to offset some of the larger costs associated with using one organization for adopting, training and caring for a dog.“Mixell and his service dog, Chief, have been a team for about four years now, and Aaron is a completely different person,” says Mathers. .

SERVICE DOGS

SERVICE DOGS

SERVICE DOGS

PAWS Service Dogs are custom-trained to assist people with physical disabilities affecting one or more limbs.Service Dogs can enhance a person’s independence by helping with tasks such as pulling a wheelchair, opening doors, turning light switches on/off or picking up objects as small as a dime.PAWS has trained Service Dogs to assist people who have Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Rheumatoidal Degeneration, ALS, Cerebral Palsy, spinal cord injuries and many other conditions affecting a person’s mobility or strength.At 18 months old, Ashley was diagnosed with Dejerine-Sottas syndrome, a disease that causes loss of sensation and muscle mass and results in weakness of her limbs.Ashley always planned to go to college after high school, but didn’t feel anywhere close to being able to take care of herself while there.Ashley made it through a challenging freshman year while she waited for a PAWS Service Dog.It just gave them another reason to view people with disabilities as vulnerable and needy.” Ashley added, “There were many experiences like that.Every day MAUI helps Ashley get in and out of bed, open a door or refrigerator, and pull off her clothing. .

How to Train Your Own Service Dog

How to Train Your Own Service Dog

How to Train Your Own Service Dog

Sadly, however, not all people who need a service dog can get one from an organization specializing in training them.What many people don’t know, however, is that for some needs and circumstances, it is possible to train your dog to be a service dog.What is a service dog?The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service dog as a dog who has been trained to perform tasks to benefit a person with a disability.Believe it or not, many people have seen success in training their own service dog.Can My Dog Be a Service Dog?What Breeds Make the Best Service Dogs?It all comes down to the disability they are helping with, and what temperament they have.For more on determining a dog’s temperament, take a look at our dog temperament guide.You can also arrange an assessment with the American Temperament Test Society.It’s also a good idea to be aware of what disability the dog is being trained to assist.Training Your Service Dog.These tasks will differ greatly across companions.Service Dogs vs.While both types of dogs can provide great comfort and utility to their companions, service dogs are specifically trained to serve a function for their owners in public places.It’s also very important to understand that a service dog is a working dog and because they are performing this very important function for one person, they are not a pet.A service dog helps a person with a disability Conversely, an emotional support dog is a wonderful companion who can provide great comfort to their owner but has not received individualized training that would qualify him to complete specific tasks for their owners.In fact, the ADA has guidelines for what business owners can ask you related to your dog and disability.Is the service animal required because of a disability?What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?However you choose to start your journey with a service dog—whether you use a service, a trainer, or embark on the training adventure yourself, remember that the ADA does not require any special training or program for service dogs. .

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