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Some dogs are just naturally helpful and seem to always be getting in your way. Use their natural desire to help to your benefit and channel that helpfulness into something useful. There are certain activities that you can do with your dog that allows them to feel like they are valuable. While some activities involve helping others, there are some easy and cheap activities that you can do with your dog that will benefit your home and strengthen the bond between you. Teaching your dog to fetch items for you or pick up their toys are great ways for them to perform a job and lend you a hand with the housework.
It takes a special dog to become a therapy dog. Dogs that do not have an obedient or calm nature will not excel in therapy work. A therapy dog is trained to provide comfort and affection to people in need of support when dealing with stressful situations. Generally, therapy dogs will visit hospitals, nursing homes or schools, but they have also been known to enter jails and offer emotional support to those incarcerated. Dogs that have obedience training can become certified as a therapy dog through the American Kennel Club’s Therapy Dog Program. Dogs can earn certification levels based on how many therapy visits they have made. If you are interested in therapy work with your dog, visit a local dog club that offers a therapy dog program and discuss your options with them.
An emotional support dog is not usually formally trained. They will be obedience trained and may have been taught to press a call button such as Life Lock or some other program that calls for help. An emotional support dog is chosen for gentle demeanor and ability to calm those around them. People with psychiatric disabilities will use emotional support dogs to bring normalcy to their daily lives. Unlike therapy dogs, these dogs will primarily work in the home and provide support to one or two people. Emotional support dogs are the same as service dogs and cannot perform the same tasks. Since they are mainly companion animals, an emotional support dog does not have any formal certifications.
A service dog typically does not stay with their trainer. They are trained by a specific group and then placed with an eligible person. Their training does continue when they are placed and they will continue to learn as they settle into their new homes and routines. When you have a service dog in your home, they will be trained specifically to help with your disability and they will help better your daily life.
There are plenty of activities that a helpful dog can perform that will benefit your daily life. They enjoy being useful and completing tasks so use their natural propensity to perform jobs. It will take a lot of time and energy to properly train your dog to be able to perform specific tasks. Stay with it and once they are trained you will have a dog that you can show off to your friends and family.