We all know that dogs are natural helpers. It is in there genes to be loyal, kind and truly a man’s best friend. If you give a dog the proper training, you can achieve some pretty amazing results. However, some dogs find it easier to be at service than others. One dog breed that is especially helpful to humans are German Shepherds. To learn how to make your GSD a service dog, keep one reading.
German Shepherds as service dogs
GSD are one of the most popular dog breeds to be trained into service canines. It’s because of their high intelligence, the ability to be trained and incredibly well-developed senses that they can truly make an impact on a person in need.
Types of service dogs
A service dog can have different types of tasks. From rescuing people trapped in an accident to helping others with mental health issues. There are endless possibilities for a service dog to truly serve other people.
The four most common types of service dogs are:
Service dogs for people with disabilities
The most common service dogs of this category are seeing eye dogs. Therefore, they help their blind humans to navigate through the streets in a safe manner. However, they can also be at help for people with conditions such as:
- Mobility impairments
Service dogs for people with mental health issues
Service dogs can be helpful for people with a lot of different mental health issues and psychiatric illnesses.
They know when to alert their owners if their forgot to take their medications. They can calm down someone suffering from anxiety or PTSD. But they can also help people to find a stable routine and manage their every day tasks.
Service dogs as emotional support animals
Emotional support animals provide comfort to people suffering from different health conditions. Either it again be related to mental health, or some other type of illness. Emotional support animals help humans get through whatever is making their like so hard at that moment. They can also help kids or elderly people who are feeling alone or have a hard time bonding with other people.
Service dogs as therapy animals
Therapy animals are animals that have the ability to be particularly kind and gentle with other people. In that way, they can even be therapeutic.
Because of that, these dogs are often taken to retirement homes, hospitals, schools or hospices.
But dogs can also help people with regaining their motion in limbs after strokes or accidents. Dogs love to exercise and they can make rehabilitation more fun for people recovering from any kind of disordered motor control.
GSD service dog: What makes them the best?
There are different reasons why German Shepherds make such amazing service animals.
First of all, these canines are so incredibly well-temlered. They are patient, gentle and calm. That’s why they can work with people who suffer from all kinds of disabilities, mental health issues or illnesses. They can provide support, comfort and a sense of security.
More frantic and hyperactive dogs could possibly scare off the people in need and even trigger their PTSD or anxiety. German Shepherds are calm and collected, and keep their cool even in the most stressful situations.
These canines are very social and comfortable being around different types of people. Either young or old, both will work for them perfectly. German Shepherds are very adaptable and tolerant.
A key factor as to why GSD service dogs are so popular is that these canines are so obedient m. A dog needs to be obedient in order to be trained correctly. Stubborn dogs will be much harder to manage.
One great addition is that GSD dogs don’t shed too much. While that may not sound like a big deal to you, it’s very important in facilities such as hospices or hospitals.
How can I train my GSD to become a service dog?
It can be quite difficult for you to train your dog yourself. There are endless of different online courses available that you can learn from. However, the best option will always be to hire a professional dog trainer.
Professional dog training
If you want to turn your GSD into a service dog, your best bet is to put him into program training. That way can he get the professional training that he will truly need to learn the things he needs to.
Professional trainers do that for a living and they will know what it takes to train your dog correctly. They are better at recognizing how much training your dog needs and when the learning is coming to an end.
Service dogs need different skills to do their tasks correctly and sometimes owners just get overwhelmed or confused in the training process.
However, if you think that you have the dedication and the willingness to train your dog completely on your own — it’s definitely worth trying.
You will have to do a lot of research and read about the different techniques that are used nowadays in the training of a service dog. It may take a lot longer, but it’s not completely impossible.