Let's face it, puppy kisses are one of the best medicines when you find yourself having a bad day or feeling depressed. And one of the best things about an emotional support animal is that, by law, there are no special requirements with regard to age, gender, or breed. For the most part, all that is needed is for your pup to pass a puppy temperament test to ensure your pup has the right temperament to be a support animal, and he needs to be in good overall health.
For those who suffer from depression, it has been scientifically and medically proven that an emotional support dog can make a huge difference in their lives. In fact, a number of medical professionals now prescribe Emotional Support Animals (ESA) as one part of the overall treatment protocols used for those patients with depression issues.
The job is to train your dog to first recognize when you are feeling depressed, but also to provide much needed emotional support until you begin to "feel" better. Sometimes, all; it takes is having your furry friend sit by you, allowing you to pet him and run your hands through his fur. Other times, your dog may need to engage in deep pressure therapy (DPT) in order to help reduce the strength and duration of the situation and resulting depression.
Since most dogs are tuned into their owner's moods and are truly devoted to their owners, training them to provide the necessary emotional support should not be overly difficult. You should consider starting your pup's training at around one year of age, a point at which he should have mastered the basic commands and knows what it means to be calm and relaxed in nature.
The biggest requirement before you should consider training your dog to be an emotional support animal is to ensure he has mastered the four basic commands; 'sit', 'stay', 'come', and 'down'. He should be around one year old, and he should have passed a puppy temperament assessment to ensure he will always be there for you. You may also need a few supplies, depending on the method of training you plan to use.
The best part of training your pup to be an emotional support dog that can help with depression is the amount of time you get to spend with your furry four-legged friend. Nothing can beat the feeling that comes with getting lots of support and love from your pup.