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Understanding Pet Safety

I have always been one of those people who is overly concerned about keeping their animals safe, which is why I started visiting local pet stores to look for solutions. I talked with the owners about the products and services that could help me to eliminate common problems, and it was amazing to see the wide range of products that were available. Within a few weeks, I had finally gathered enough supplies to keep my animal safe and sound. This blog is all about understanding pet safety and learning to provide for your animals in a safe, effective, and convenient way.

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Understanding Pet Safety

How To Make Your Dog A Service Dog Vs. A Therapy Dog

by Caleb Jackson

Service dogs are very special dogs indeed. They are trained to do dozens of tasks that their future masters cannot. At one time, service dogs were only for the blind. Referred to as "seeing eye dogs," these dogs were trained to lead the blind around safely and to protect their masters/mistresses from traffic tragedies. Now, service dogs do so much more. There are also therapy dogs, but the process and outcome of training is very different from service dog training.

Service Dogs Spend Two to Three Years in Training

Service dogs spend two to three years in training. Their training includes everything from following a simple command like "fetch!" to "find my shoes," or "find the medicine/drugs." These dogs are also trained to listen to and follow more than one handler so that when the dogs are assigned to assist persons with disabilities, it does not matter that the assigned persons are not the ones that trained the dogs.

If the dogs are going to serve the public as police dogs, the dogs receive one to two years more training. This extra training helps them learn how to find illegal drugs, guns, and other contraband. The dogs also learn to smell blood and search for cadavers (dead bodies buried somewhere or stuffed into car trunks). 

Therapy Dogs Only Receive One to Two Years' Training

Therapy dogs are not service dogs. These dogs are trained to provide emotional support for their owners. They cannot go where service dogs go, nor do they receive training that helps them perform multiple tasks. They simply are required to behave properly in public places and listen to their owners. The owners are required to be in training with the dogs, since the dogs should only pay attention to the owners and not to anyone else.

Massive Difference in Training Costs

A police dog and its training can cost upwards of ten thousand dollars. A service dog and its training can cost almost as much. A therapy dog and its training costs around five thousand or less. 

Additionally, a service dog receives documentation of its breeding and training. Owners and handlers are required to retain this documentation on their persons in the event that the dogs are barred from entering public places. Then the owners/handlers present the documentation, which legally allows them to bring the dogs into these public places because the dogs are needed to assist the owners/handlers with certain tasks. Therapy dogs can only enter specific locations that allow it, and no documentation can change that.

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