Frequently Asked Questions about Service Dogs
Do you train Emotional Support Dogs or just Service Dogs?
We train Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs and Therapy Dogs.
Can I have any breed I want as a Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal?
We have our preferences and are intimately familiar with a number of breeds that are perfect for most people to use as service or emotional support dogs, and recommend they acquire them as puppies and train them. Big and small dogs are pretty much the same, but some breeds have more or less behaviors like some children have more behaviors. You don’t need a German Shepherd. We can train your Miniature Australian Shepherd or Chihuahua to do everything a German Shepherd can do. The key is to be honest about what tasks you need your dog to perform for you to diminish, reduce or compensate for your disability. If you have weakness or loss of sensation and need to lean on your dog to stand up, we don’t recommend small dogs Maltese, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, Jack Russell Terrier or Miniature Australian Shepherd like “Dolly.”
Are VOLUNTEERS used to train the Service Dogs?
Well-meaning people who love dogs volunteer at service dog organizations and are used to train service dogs for people with disabilities. The MONEY $$$ raised to get people with disabilities service dogs goes to fundraising, administration, expenses and salaries—-NOT the people who train the dogs. ALL the money you pay Service Dog School of Sacramento goes to the full-time professional dog trainers who train the service dogs. Most service dog organizations do not have pictures of trained dogs on their websites. If they had photos of trained dogs, they would certainly put their best foot forward and show them to you. Amateur volunteers training service dogs is not what it is cracked up to be, or all the service dog organizations in Sacramento would have websites full of dogs obedient on and off-leash.
Is Service Dog School of America a charity? If NO, why not?
When most people think of a “charity” they think of someone altruistic, helping others out of the goodness of their heart like Mother Theresa loving and feeding starving orphans on the street, NOT a couple with a 501(c) paying the mortgage for their house and rental property, car payments, boat, restaurants, entertainment and travel. A lot of these “charities” require you to raise $20,000 to $30,000 on social media as a requirement for you to get a service dog trained by their volunteers. Picture Jim and Tammy Baker the televangelists as dog trainers driving Cadillac SUV’s while volunteers train the service dogs instead of them hiring professional dog trainers. Service Dog School of Sacramento isn’t like Mother Theresa and is a longtime dog training business owned by people who are dog trainers themselves and only employ full-time professional dog trainers. So our answer is ‘We feel that because the taxes for business are relatively low anyway, we have never been interested in operating as a 501(c) charity.’
Will my Service Dog listen to me if it gets OFF-LEASH?
Less than a dozen trainers in North America and Europe teach Off-Leash Obedience without Shock Collars. Using a shock collar is NOT trained because if the dogs were trained, why would they need a shock collar. Service Dog School of America is proud to teach and offer Off-Leash Obedience using Love, Affection, Friendship and Trust. We are not against shock collars, we just don’t use them to train service dogs ever. I ask trainers who use them if I can’t put it on their neck and push the button. They are all afraid and say HELL NO. I promise them I won’t turn it up high and fry them, but they still are afraid. Again, we don’t use shock collars to train service dogs because THAT’S NOT DOG TRAINING, unless you are training the service dog to be nervous, neurotic, skittish, reactive, depressed and anxious. How would you like to wait 2 to 5 years to get a service dog, and it pisses itself when meeting strangers and is dog-aggressive because it was trained with shock collars? Don’t be fooled.
Why should I let the trainer choose the right dog, breeder and puppy for me?
A professional trainer has trained 200 or more different breeds, not just Golden Retrievers, Poodles, German Shepherds and Labradors, and able to recommend breeds as service dogs or Emotional Support Animals that you might not think of that would be great for you. The trainer knows how to pick a puppy out of a litter and tell how its temperament will be. A professional trainer knows about breeders and the right questions to ask (like if the dogs are inbred). Most people wouldn’t know to ask if there was a father, not just a brother and a mother. The trainer is motivated to choose the right dog for you because they have to train it, and want the smartest one with the best personality and temperament because it will likely be easier to train and the clients will be happiest.
Who is doing a great job and getting great results training Service Dogs?
Everyone has a camera on their cellphone. Someone that is getting results training service dogs is going to have a lot to show you, not just BLAH BLAH BLAH about how wonderful they are. Photos and videos do not lie. ANYONE can say they train dogs and wants to help you, but they can’t fake photos of 100’s of trained dogs. No one would hire a contractor without photos of kitchens, bathrooms and roofs. Most service dog agencies, organizations and providers have few dogs they trained to show consumers. Few service dog trainers in Sacramento have photos of dogs they trained to substantiate their competence. We often get calls to train service dogs that appear to have had little, if any, training at all. We would be suspicious shopping for a service dog if the website or Facebook page is testimonial-heavy, but light on photos. TALK IS CHEAP, photos and videos don’t lie. DON’T SAY YOU WEREN’T TOLD!