What standard of training does an ESA need to meet?

It takes time to train any service dog, including PSDs. For most dogs, the service training process requires between one and two years of continuous training.

As a responsible PSD user, you need to understand the service dog training and behavior requirements that apply where you live, including federal, state, and local rules. Under the regulations included in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dog training must include work or task training.

All service dogs have to be well-trained to always behave properly in public. A service dog that behaves poorly or reacts inappropriately to an unexpected situation can be removed and banned from public places.

Of course, that involves obedience training to react properly to commands. But service dogs also need training to NOT react to different situations. “Exposure” training involves a long checklist of potential triggers that a dog might react to, whether that’s somebody hugging you or petting them unexpectedly, people wearing unusual clothing like a long jacket or a hard hat, loud noises, or other dogs playing or fighting. The list of potential triggers is very long and training a service dog to react properly (or NOT react) to each one takes time.

What makes a service dog, including PSDs, different from other well-trained dogs is that they must also learn to help you with specific needs created by your disability. That help falls into two categories: Work and Tasks. 
Tasks are the actions a service dog will do when its user tells it to do something, like fetching something or helping you to stand up.

Work includes all the actions a PSD is trained to do without prompting, like warning you when it senses a panic attack coming on, comforting you so you can get back to sleep after a night terror, or reacting to other non-verbal cues to help warn of and head off an episode.

Was this article helpful?

0 out of 0 found this helpful

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

0 comments

Please sign in to leave a comment.