We do service dog and therapy dog training in Northern Virginia, so we always get ask about these certifications. Many people do not know the history of the service dog.
Dogs have a rich history of interaction with humans. They also are known to have a sort of sixth sense when it comes to things like pending storms, human health, and finding their way home. It is no surprise that they have been considered some of most dependable amenities for disabled individuals. Besides completing necessary tasks, they form unbreakable bonds with their humans.
Early interactions with dogs are thought to have originated with wolves coming near living camps and residing around the edges while consuming leftover or offered food. Eventually they became protective of the camp and the people within, warning off predators. Over time they are thought to have become closer and closer to the humans, until they were domesticated. Dog remains have also been found in burials from ancient civilizations.
Military and early Service
Romans used dogs for military purposes, as well as in domesticated situations. There is artistic evidence of dogs leading humans around. European efforts to find soldiers that had been hurt were also an early service. Dogs in the 1700’s were also given the responsibility of bringing messages to soldiers in dangerous positions during battle. Ancient Chinese documentation presents pictures of dogs helping humans in different ways, as well. Modern service dogs are trained specifically for tasks such as guiding the blind, detecting and warning of pending seizures, and even to call emergency responders.
Certain breeds are more commonly used as service dogs in modern times. While it is a natural development for all bonded dogs to help and protect their owners, some breeds seem to be more naturally set up to complete training designed to prepare for specific tasks. German shepherds are commonly used in the police force and also as guide dogs. Labradors and Retrievers are also frequently seen helping disabled individuals. These breeds are often chosen or even produced by breeders for this specific purpose. They have certain personality traits that are applicable to their roles. There are sometimes beliefs that breeding produces a quality and predictable offspring. This is, however, contributing to the already excessive dog population. While these are often seen as medical necessities for many people, there is little breathing room for mistakes or unpredictable dogs. It may be quite some time before homeless dogs are fully considered for service dog use. There have been some new efforts moving in this direction, however. All breeds have their specific traits, and it is best for the owner and dog alike if a compatible pairing is made.
Dogs are already set up to help and serve. Their natural instincts to protect their resources help them bond quickly in a family environment. Even family pets, not trained for service, have been known to alert their families of fires, intruders, and illness. Dogs are so much more than pets. They can physically carry out tasks, calm anxiety, and they love unconditionally. Loyalty is a major trait of all dog breeds. Dogs have been in service for possibly thousands of years.
Are you interested in your dog becoming a certified service dog? Contact Off Leash K9 Training at http://www.servicedogtrainingvirginia.com/ or http://offleashk9training.com
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