|Barked: Wed Dec 26, '12 2:37pm PST |
|I'm not sure about the laws in Canada. In the US, mental illness is considered a disability. In the US, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are considered disabled and qualify for a service dog if your disability has a significant impact on one or more major areas of life functioning, like seeing, hearing, thinking, walking, communicating, etc. But in Canada it may be different.
Do you have a lot of experience training dogs? If not, it would be really hard to train your own service dog. It usually takes about 18 months of pretty intensive training by professional, experienced trainers to train a service dog.
The program I got my service dog from uses rescue dogs, but in most cases, you'd have better luck with a dog from a breeder that breeds for the characteristics that make a good service dog. I understand wanting to give a dog in need a good home, and that's one of the reasons I went with the program I did. I liked the idea of having a rescue dog. But the problem is that most dogs do not have the right temperament to be service dogs. If you try to pick out a dog yourself, there's a really good chance it won't have the right temperament. Professionals with experience training service dogs are much better at selecting candidates but even they are wrong sometimes. And since rescue dogs often have some sort of trauma in their history, they are less likely to be suitable for the job.
Someone told me, and I can see how this would be the case, that if you want a service dog for anxiety or some other mental illness, it's even harder to train the dog yourself because the trainer needs to be really calm and centered when teaching the dog how to deal with stressful circumstances.
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