Service dogs have become quite commonplace in today’s society. People all over the world have come to recognize the benefits and assistance that can be provided to those with disabilities.
But many people don’t realize just how much work goes into training a dog to become a service dog.
It is a long process that starts when the dogs are puppies and doesn’t end until they have been specially trained to work with one specific person.
In this video from the American Kennel Club, you can see first-hand how trainers gently and lovingly train the dogs that will one day be so helpful to others.
Lu Picard of Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities and her colleague work with dogs individually as they learn to help those with disabilities navigate physical challenges in the real world.
Training occurs in natural settings such as a train station since it is locations such as this that they will actually work in the future.
Watch a sweet yellow lab learn to step up and down a flight of stairs only when told by his partner.
A black lab learns to push a button on an elevator and then help his person safely enter the elevator without the door closing.
Dogs are taught to follow commands regardless of what is going on around them to ensure the safety of their person.
They are repeatedly exposed to situations where they could be distracted and taught instead to focus on their task.
The level of discipline exhibited by these dogs is incredible. Even more so is the patience and gentleness exhibited by their trainers.
And here are some graduates with their owners.
As you can see, service dogs are adored as much as they are needed. They change the life of the person that they take care of and in return get lots of love.
Source: American Kennel Club