2016 The Service Dog Issue
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In This Newsletter:

The Service Dog Issue

New class!  Therapy Dog Class. Details below.
Did you know?   September has National Pet Memorial Day,  National Hug Your Hound Day, AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day and Puppy Mill Awareness Day. 
Tip of the Month: Want to know more about service dogs?
Additional Articles:  What exactly are therapy dogs? | Therapy dog vs Service dog vs Emotional Support Animal
Calendar and Group Class Schedules: Upcoming Classes in Southwest Littleton & Castle Rock/Sedalia | Upcoming events at The Light of Dog Farm.
Our most current offers, discount and coupons:  Please click here

Did you know?

We added a new class to our roster - Therapy Dog Class Interested in your dog becoming a therapy dog? Think your dog would be good at it but not sure? This class might be just what you need! Starting October 6.

The 2nd Sunday in September is National Pet Memorial Day and National Hug Your Hound Day These are days to give a little extra thought and appreciation to the past and current dogs in our lives. (Though please only actually hug your dog if they like it - which most do not!). 

The 3rd Saturday in September is AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day and Puppy Mill Awareness Day
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Want to know more about service dogs?

In a recent post, I gave a brief overview of the differences among service (or assistance) dogs, therapy dogs and emotional support animals. In my most recent post, I discussed therapy dogs in more detail. In this post, I will talk more about service dogs. 

Service dogs are trained to help mitigate the disability of a specific person and are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). These dogs must be well-behaved and responsive in public as well as be trained to perform specific tasks for the individual. These dogs ARE allowed access to public locations where other dogs are not allowed, as long as they are not disruptive to the environment. People are probably most familiar with guide dogs for the blind, but service dogs can also provide many other tasks such as helping deaf individuals. Service dogs can also provide diabetic alert or seizure alert services. Psychiatric service dogs can help individuals with psychiatric issues that prevent them from functioning in public places. There are many areas in which service dogs are helping individuals to lead more independent lives. However, these dogs must be trained to perform specific tasks to help mitigate the individuals' disabilities. Providing comfort is not enough to qualify as a service dog. 

If you (or a loved one) qualifies for a service dog, then you might be looking for how to obtain or train a service dog. There are many organizations that train and place service dogs. You would need to research these organizations and find out if you (or your loved one) qualifies for their particular program. Most organizations train certain types of service dogs but typically not ALL types. Some organizations have strict guidelines as to who they serve – for example, military veterans or children. If you find an organization that fits your needs, contact them to find out the application process and how long the waiting list might be. 

In some cases, it’s tough to find an organization that meets your particular needs. In other cases, you might find one but realize that the waiting list could be years to get a dog. In those cases, or for other reasons, some people decide to train a service dog on their own or with the help of a qualified professional trainer. If that is the case, you want to make sure you do your research into what is involved. The requirements a service dog must be able to meet. The training involved. How to determine whether a particular dog would be a good candidate for service work. If you want to do more research, the ada.gov site is a good place to start:https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html 

If you are looking for a qualified professional to help you, make sure the trainer is a good fit for you (or your loved one). Some trainers are highly qualified but not a good fit personally. Others might be a good fit personally but not qualified to help you with the level of training needed. 

Unfortunately, as with any area of dog training, the service dog field is a "buyer beware" category. Some people will try to take advantage of a vulnerable population by exploiting their needs. You may have read about organizations who charge thousands of dollars for a "certified service dog" who provide a poorly trained dog and the client loses a lot of money or spends time trying to recoup their money when that time and money could have been spent on more important things. While some trainers or organizations are most definitely scam artists, I believe that others have good intentions but just really do not have the skills needed for this type of work. If you are looking for help in this area, do your research. 

We receive inquiries from people wanting their dog to become a "service dog" but the people do not qualify under the ADA as a person with a disability. While there are some unscrupulous organization and individuals on the training side, there are also some unscrupulous people on the other side trying to find ways to take their dogs to public places without a legitimate need. Both sides do a great disservice to those who can truly benefit from a service dog. 

Here at The Light of Dog, we offer private training services to help people in need of legitimate service dogs. We do not take and train service dogs in a Board & Train setting at this time. Our focus is on helping those individuals who want to train their own dog. Our services consist of private training to help with public access and basic obedience-type skills as well as training specific tasks for psychiatric service dogs. We do NOT train for guide dogs, diabetic alert or seizure alert dogs.

Additional Related Articles

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 REVISED AND IMPROVED...With More Information, A Dog Food Comparison Worksheet Tool and Quick Reference Tool.  Newsletter Subscribers...please use this discount code to save on your purchase: healthyfoodchoices   
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Upcoming Classes in Southwest Littleton Area
  • Puppy Preschool:  open enrollment on Sundays and Wednesdays (no class 9/4 & 9/18)
  • Puppy Recess:  most Sundays noon to 1 pm (no Recess 9/4 & 9/18)
  • Basic Training:  new classes start Sunday 10/23 & Wednesday 10/19
  • Juvenile Delinquents:  new classes start Sunday 10/23 & Thursday 10/6
  • Intermediate Training: none scheduled at this time
  • Rally for Fun:  none scheduled at this time
  • Polite Pooches in Public: none scheduled at this time
  • The Nose Knows: none scheduled at this time
  • Canine Good Citizen Class & Test: no new classes will be scheduled this year
  • Therapy Dog Class NEW! new class starts Thursday, 10/6 
    Are you working toward your dog becoming a therapy dog but not sure what you need to work on or want help? Think your dog would be a good therapy dog but not sure? This class will help you determine whether your dog would be good at it, would actually enjoy it and if s/he is ready for it. 
Upcoming Classes in Castle Rock/Sedalia
  • Basic Training: new class will start as soon as we have enough participants 
  • Juvenile Delinquents: new class will start as soon as we have enough participants 
Upcoming Events at The Light of Dog Farm
  • No more events scheduled for 2016

Click here for our complete group class & events schedule with available spaces

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To see our most current offers, discounts and coupons:

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The “Kids”

Zuzu (Greyhound) and Romeo (Vizsla): Social directors, personal trainers, and chief protectors from potential intruders. 

Wife & Husband

Sue Brown, behavior consultant, dog trainer and writer extraordinaire and Ed Soehnel, dog products and marketing.
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