Santha asked in PetsDogs · 7 years ago

Service Animal Training?

Hi! I am 16 and I suffer from PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, and Social Phobia. I am getting an American Pit Bull Terrier to start off as a service animal in training. I am homeschooled and is home 24/7. I have trained my 2 dogs that I have fairly well. I just need some tips on training. Maybe a website or 2?


@4Her4Life I live in the US and I know "pitbulls" get a bad rap which is the main reason I want to train one. To show people they are not vicious eating killing things or whatever. I have a letter from my psychiatrist and regular doctor. He will be trained to pick up items ( As my medication makes me have dizzy spells ) Crowd control, Help me with self harm, and help with panic attacks.

Update 2:

@NekkidTruth My family does not have the funds to hire a trainer. If we had the money we would get the dog from an organization. I know there is fundraising and everything but just no. I would rather owner train.

Update 3:

Can someone actually answer my question >.<

6 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hey there, I hope I can help.

    As long as your symptoms are severe enough to be considered a disability by ADA standards than you qualify for a service dog. And dont listen to Nekkid Truth, I was first diagnosed with PTSD at age 10. And psych service dogs are increasing, and most every service dog training organization recognize the legitimacy of them.

    So some things to train, I will list some sites for you to start off with:

    PAT, or public access test. MAKE SURE your dog can do everything on this test: is a good link to psych service dog tasks with descriptions, it is the best I have found':

    Even though you cannot afford a trainer, PLEASE get the dog temperament tested. Get a healthy dog, from a good breeding stock. Even though pit type dogs can be service dogs in the USA, I wouldnt recommend it because you will get A LOT of confrontation. I get plenty with a golden retriever!

    Training a successful and effective service dog can take upwards up 2 years.

    Since it will be a service dog in-training, check state laws to see about if your in-training dog is allowed in public, i.e. in NC my service dog in-training is allowed in all public venues for owner trainers.

    And it is a long process, and there is no gurantee your dog will be able to do service work, so you must prepare for washing out the dog at the first sign of aggression, fear based anxiety, too hyper aronud kids, other dogs, etc, cannot ignore food when in grocery store, restaurant, etc. Also, being 16 and training, you may have a hard time proving the legitimacy of the dog.

    There are organizations that gove the dog next to nothing in terms of cost through you helping to fundraise. Have you thought about that? Fundraising is easier than training the dog yourself, and you are guranteed a service dog. I am owner training under the guidance of a professional trainer, and while it is very is a very long, and sometimes difficult process. I am talking repetitions of her tasks upwards of ~500 times a day. (I do 50-100 reps for each task per day, which right now she is learning 6 tasks), with public access training, socialization and obedience is a FULL TIME job training this dog.

  • 7 years ago

    If your conditions constitute a legal disability, then you qualify for a service dog. The next question is WHAT will the dog do to mitigate your disability? Making your feel better is NOT a trained task! Are there at least three specific TASKS that the dog can do that will actually help you? Train those tasks and your dog is a service dog.

    Do note that while a well-bred American Pit Bull Terrier is a very athletic, versatile, and fearless breed that having such a controversial breed as a service dog will have many challenges - expect to be confronted repeatedly about the dog's breed and their legitimacy in that role, and even the "traditional" breeds get stopped and harassed pretty often! This may actually make your condition worse instead of better.

    Also note that travel both within and outside of the United States may be hard or impossible - many cities and counties band or restrict the breed, even for visitors, and entire provinces like Quebec or nations like the UK, Germany, and 10 other nations. If you plan to study abroad or even travel abroad, the dog may not legally be able to join you or may be in danger of being confiscated or destroyed.

    ADD: HOW to train depends on WHAT you are training + your personality + the dog's personality + the dog's previous training and experiences. Going through an organization is almost always FREE for the disabled handler. A professional trainer will cost you 10,000-25,000 in most cases.

    And "wanting to show that this breed isn't vicious" is NOT a service dog task, you can still get one as a service dog if you wish, but with social anxiety, I would think that the primary goal should be avoiding confrontation and you WILL be confronted if you have a pit as your service dog.

  • 7 years ago

    You would be better off to hire trainer. Service dog training has a high failure rate..

    Tho I doubt you really qualify for a service dog.

    "If we had the money we'd get one from an organization"... this tells me that you do not qualify. Its expensive, but there are programs that fund these dogs to provide them to people who need them.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    You can not decide that you need a service dog, you doctor must decide that for you. I am a 68 year old female and I have a service dog for PTSD. She is a 12 year old Maltese named Princess that I trained myself, I KNOW how to train dogs. I've been doing it all my life. I have another Maltese, .Her name is Pandora, she is one year old and I am now training her to replace Princess when she retires. It takes about one and a half to two years to fully train a service dog. It"s intensive training, not just sit and stay. I highly doubt that you will get qualify for a service dog. The dog must do at least three tasks that you are unable to do. What can't you do for yourself? I'm sure at your age you can pretty much do everything. You just want a service dog to show off. Got to a councellor and get help if you need it. A dog willnot help you.

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  • 7 years ago

    '....'pinched you'..... Wake up.

    You are dreaming. Not even a good try.

    A pit bull in training to be a Service Dog? In your dreams.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    The dog always needs to be supervised when indoors. Every time the dog goes to the toilet in the house, and he is not caught and corrected, the behaviour is reinforced and he will think it is acceptable behaviour.

    Learn here

    • Take your dog on lead to the area where you would like him to relieve himself

    • Use the word “toilet” when the dog is going to the toilet so he learns to associate the word with the action

    • Reward with high praise and a treat reward so this behaviour is keenly repeated by the dog

    • If the dog tries to jump and play with you ignore this behaviour until the dog focuses on sniffing the ground and starting to cue for the signs of relieving himself

    • Remember to be patient – as this may take time

    • If consistent, in weeks to a couple of months you should be able to do without the lead and your dog should be able to relieve himself on cue when hearing the command “toilet”

    As prevention is better than cure; get in the habit of closing doors and not allowing your dog free access to areas that are unsupervised. NB: Baby dividers between rooms and hallways can be very effective to keep dog out. It is interesting to note that carpeted rooms are attractive to puppies as they hold the scent particularly well.

    Make sure your cleaning the urine up completely! There are a number of excellent cleaning products that you can now purchase from pet stores that eliminate the smell of urine or feces. If the pup can smell any urine or feces, remembering it has a much stronger sense of smell than us; it will encourage him to go again on the same spot.

    If you are to catch your dog in the act simply give the “a-ah” command. Pick the dog up and place outdoors or on paper so that he can finish his deed there. Remember that if you do not catch the dog within 3 seconds of an undesirable act he will have no comprehension of what you are correcting him for. This may worsen his toileting habits as the dog will learn to be deceptive as he will now want to hide away.

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