Owner Training a Service Dog: Expectations vs. Reality

The Novice’s Expectations vs. Reality of Owner Training a Service Dog

Adequate Resources for Learning About Training and Handling

Expectation: The Internet

Reality: Experienced Mentors

Announcing Your Endeavor to Family and Friends

Expectation: Support

Reality: “But there’s nothing wrong with you.”

Choosing Your Service Dog Candidate

Expectation: The right one will easy to pick, with an aura around him, halo, flashing neon sign or something to that effect, indicating that he’s “The One.”

Reality: There are a lot of dogs available and very few have what it takes.

Many “career changed” service dogs in training go on to do other jobs, that they are more suited for, like bomb sniffing dogs.

Bringing Your Puppy Home

Expectation: Puppy will be a perfect fit into your lifestyle and you will bond immediately

Reality: Puppy needs to learn house manners

Beginning The Training Process

Expectation: Bringing a well-behaved, young puppy to the store with you as soon as you bring him home

Reality: Basic obedience doesn’t come naturally

Finally Bringing Your Service Dog In Training Into Public

Expectation: A well-mannered pup

Reality: A lot of effort on your part to make progress

Amount of Time It Takes To Graduate Your Dog From “In Training” Status to “Service Dog”

Expectation: Within a year

Reality: About 2 Years

It took about two years for Bradley to transition from “in training” to my standards of “service dog” status.

Having A Full Time Service Dog

Expectation: Support from family, friends and society


My best friend’s brother visits with Bradley at her wedding.

Reality: Some Will Refuse To Accept Your Service Dog Partnership

How The General Public Sees My Service Dog



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