Monthly Archives: October 2015

Emotional Support Dog Training In Northern Virginia

Emotional Support Dog Training in Northern Virginia

Dog Training Emotional Support Northern Virginia

 At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we get asked a lot about Emotional Support Dog Training.  Seemingly, many people know the role of a service dog and many people know the role of a therapy dog. However, the term emotional support animal (ESA) is fairly new to this genre of dogs acting as therapeutic or physical support for humans. Distinguishing the services provided by the animal and the capacity of the recipient are critical in establishing a dog as a legitimate emotional support animal. Emotional support animals are described as animals that have been prescribed by a person’s physician, usually a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed therapist, to aid in the recovery of a person diagnosed with a mental illness.

How does a person qualify for an ESA (emotional support animal)? A person must be declared as emotionally disabled under the categories of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) IV or V. This means that a person must have at least one function of life activity limited due to the disability, the person is under the care of a qualified professional, and the dog is prescribed for the person’s treatment or recovery. All information must be documented fully in order to qualify a dog as an emotional support animal (ESA). While registering a dog with the emotional support animal registry is not mandatory, it is highly recommended to ensure the validity and continuity of the emotional support animal program.

Persons prescribed a dog as an emotional support animal do not have all of the same entitlements and rights as those prescribed a service animal or therapy dog. Persons with a prescribed and documented emotional support animal, such as a dog, are entitled to live in housing designated as “no pets” and are permitted to fly with their emotional support animal without being charged. These acts protect the mentally disabled through the Air Carrier Access Act and the Fair Housing Amendment Act. However, a mentally disabled person is not afforded the same rights with their emotional support dog as those prescribed with service animals. Emotional support dogs are not permitted in public places such as restaurants, parks, hotels, beaches, theaters, etc. unless specifically allowed by the individual entity. This is different from prescribed service animals which are required access to these locations by law.

Dogs as emotional support animals are very beneficial to persons suffering from depression, social phobias, or sense of well-being. These persons benefit greatly from the presence of the emotional support dog and many find the dogs an integral part of their recovery and/or daily function.

Emotional support dogs are distinguished from their service and therapy counterparts by the simple fact of training. While service and therapy animals are trained to react to specific instances or even take on specific tasks, emotional support animals are not. The mere presence of an emotional support dog may provide comfort and therapy to a mentally disabled person, allowing to function fully on a daily basis.

If you want more information about training a Therapy Dog, Service Dog, or Emotional Support Animal (ESA), contact us at or 888-413-0896.

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-Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

Dog Tracking Courses in Northern Virginia

Tracking Dogs in Northern Virginia

Tracking Dogs and Scent Detection In Northern Virginia

Dogs are man’s best friend, and love working with their humans.  Dogs can be used for numerous different tasks. Some dogs were made to track objects. Some dogs are used for tracking and hunting larger game. There are some dogs that were made for assisting people who need help or to help law enforcement find drugs or other contraband. Of course, there are some dogs that were meant to just sit on your lap while binge watching television with you.

Tracking dogs, much like these other dogs, they were trained with a specific purpose in mind. When people refer to tracking, they are discussing the method where dogs are trained to locate a specific object or person. Tracking is an ability that dogs were born with as it is an essential skill that is required of them for survival out in the wild so that they are able to track down and hunt their prey. Humans quickly discovered that they were able to use this innate technology to help them in their lives. This is when they were used to get rid of diseased rats to stop the spread of disease and to help humans hunt their own prey. Soon, dog tracking was used to help law enforcement to help find missing people and/or suspects.

Dog tracking is possible because dogs have an amazing sense of smell because they have a very sensitive olfactory that can discriminate between different scents. The dogs can also use visual cues to follow something they are tracking. This happens in different phases. First, the dog will try to find a track through short sniffs. After the dog has found the track, they will sniff longer in order to find the direction to follow. After they find the direction, they will sniff regularly while quickly moving in that direction.

When looking for your Northern Virginia tracking dog course, you will want to make sure that they have had all of the proper training. There are also different types of tracking that dogs can perform, and understanding which will better meet your needs and can really help with your search. Trailing dogs require an object to get a scent from in order to find the difference between the different people involved and will track scents nose down on a trail. An air-scenting dog will track nose up, and do not require an item in order to track a scent.

Dogs are not just great companions, but they are also amazing dogs to help with a variety of tasks. Dogs are especially an asset due to their amazing tracking abilities. They are great tools for law enforcement and hunters to help them complete their tasks. They are especially helpful in situations that require looking for a person or some contraband that can be dangerous to the community. Dogs love having tasks that keep them busy and they have a lot of uses that can make them cute and lovable assets to humans.

If you are looking at teaching your dog a fun and stimulating exercise, contact us at: or or 888-413-0896

-Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

How To Stop My Dog From Peeing In The House?


Dog Peeing In House Northern Virginia

At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we always get asked, “How can I stop my dog from peeing in the house?”

Your dog going to the restroom in your house is a pretty common problem among dog owners, but generally one that is resolved when they are still in their early puppy phase.

So what do you do if your adult dog is still peeing in the house? Here are a few of the primary  behavioral and medical causes for inappropriate urination in dogs.

There are really 5 primary reasons that your dog is going to the restroom in your house:

1. Your dog has what we call, “Excited Urination.”  This is when maybe someone new comes over to the house, a family member who was gone for awhile comes back, etc.  Your dog becomes so excited, he cannot contain himself.  This can be fixed through obedience and scenario based training.

2. Another reason can be what we call, “Submissive Urination.”  This is generally done with puppies while being scolded, learned over, etc.  However, this can be exhibited by older dogs who have confidence issues or sees someone or something as a threat to them.  This can also be aided by obedience training combined with confidence building.

3. Improper house breaking/crate training.  If you did not do a proper/regimented housebreaking process, this can be a contributing factor, as well.  You can only expect your dog to do exactly what you taught them to do.  So, if you did not have a thorough housebreaking routine, this could be the cause.  In this case, we recommend going “back to the basics of crate training.”  You can read our thorough blog on housebreaking your dog HERE!

4. Your dog could simply be “territorial marking.”  I would say if they are in their own house, this isn’t as common as the other issues above.  However, once a dog starts marking in the house, it becomes a routine.  You should get a good odor eliminator to help eliminate the smell to the dog, and again, I would go “back to the basics” that is outlined in our blog above.

5. If you have ruled out all of the above options, I would recommend looking into a medical issue that you may not have noticed.  It could be things such as bladder stones, kidney disease, urinary infections, diabetes, etc. These things (like in people) help the urge to urinate quickly come over your dog.  So, you may not be able to get them out fast enough.  So, check with your local veterinarian.

If you have any more questions about obedience training, house breaking, or any other behavioral issues, check out our website at: or info@offleashk9training or 888-413-0896