The anticipated day has finally arrived! Your service dog delivery is ready to be scheduled. The excitement and anticipation can quickly become stressful and worrisome if you are unsure what to expect. We work hard to ensure that the service dog delivery and in-home transition for your service dog is as smooth and seamless as possible.
Our trainers will fly or drive to your location along with your service dog. Expect our trainers to stay for approximately three to five days, depending on your family’s specific needs. While there are no training fees associated with our service dog delivery, you will be responsible for the travel expenses, lodging, and meals for our training team. We will take care of scheduling our travel, and making our reservations, but we always request your recommendations and input to ensure you are receiving the best value for your dollar.
Your family will be provided with a training DVD which showcases your service dog in action. All of your service dog’s obedience and specialty commands will be demonstrated and explained for you to review at your convenience.
If you or your family has encountered difficult situations that you hope the dog will assist with making better, please schedule them while we are with you. This gives our trainers a chance to observe and make recommendations, and affords the service dog the opportunity to experience a challenging environment with those individuals with whom he is still most comfortable. We have had families struggle with certain therapy appointments, doctor visits, or specific errands, and almost without exception, the presence of the service dog has made each of those troubling events more manageable.
At the end of the delivery, as our trainers depart, you may be wondering how you can make the transition easier for your new service dog, and create a solid partnership. We recommend the following tips to help your family create a successful bond with your service dog.
What to Expect When Your Service Dog Arrives
- Your Service Dog Will Need Exercise Every Day – Exercise is an important component to keeping your dog physically and mentally healthy. Dogs that are not exercised on a regular basis can become destructive within the home due to boredom. Be prepared to exercise your dog in some form every day. You can play fetch, tug of war, run, or walk with your dog, just to name a few ideas. Just make sure that your sessions are a reasonable amount of time to ensure that the dog is getting the physical exercise he or she needs.
- Educate Yourself About Your Service Dog’s Health Needs – You will need to be knowledgeable about basic grooming, cleaning ears, clipping nails, brushing teeth, heart worm medicine, and flea and tick preventative. Also, you will need to have a good relationship with your local veterinarian and make sure to take your dog to check-ups on a regular basis and have your dog always up to date on vaccinations.
- Your Service Dog Will Need to be on a Schedule – You need to have your dog on a bathroom schedule and you will need to be vigilant about making sure you provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to use the restroom. Your dog will also need to be on a feeding schedule as well. You don’t want to leave a bowl of dog food lying out every day.
- You Will Need to Work Your Service Dog’s Obedience Every Day – This is an important part of making sure that your dog maintains his or her training and learns to listen and respect you. Set time aside (especially in the beginning) to work on all your dog’s commands. This is an important part of making sure that your service dog is able to provide you with the best help he or she can.
- Consistency is Important – Everyone in the family, and anyone who will handle the dog, needs to be on the same page. Everyone must have the same boundaries for the dog. For example, we like to have our dogs sit before they get fed. Anyone who feeds the dog must follow that rule. Another example is jumping. A dog does not understand that they can jump on one person but not on another. Jumping is either allowed or, in a service dog’s case, it is not allowed.
- Organization is Key – If a dog lives in an environment with a lot of clutter that dog may develop some negative behaviors. Until your dog knows what is acceptable to play with you want to make sure that there are no toys lying around that the dog could confuse with their own. You also want to make sure that there is nothing lying around that could injure the dog.
- There are Certain Foods That You Should Keep Your Service Dog Away From – You will want to familiarize yourself with these foods. Here are a few: grapes, raisins, chocolate, milk, avocado, garlic, onion, candy, sugary foods, and fried foods.
- Even Service Dogs Need Play Time – Be aware that your dog will still need time to play and relax. Dogs cannot work all day long. Just like people, they need down time to rejuvenate.
- Create a Safe Environment for Your Service Dog – If you have a fenced-in backyard, make sure that it is safe and appropriate for your dog. You want to make sure it is in good repair and there are no places a dog could use as an exit. Electric fences should be set up before the dog arrives if you are using one instead of a regular fence. Be aware that if you do not have a fenced space you will need to leash walk the dog at all times.
- Your Personal Dogs Need to be Vaccinated – If you have personal pet dogs make sure that they are fully vaccinated before your service dog arrives. Also, you will want to have your pet dogs on flea and tick preventative.