When you look on the list of qualified service dog breeds, it is not surprising to see the Golden Retrievers sitting on the number one spot. They generally have the ability to help those individuals who are visually or hearing impaired. However, there are other medical conditions like some mental health issues that the Goldens may also be helpful with. With this, having the assistance of the Golden Retriever service dog for anxiety is a good idea.
In this blog post, we will able to determine the traits and qualities of a Golden Retriever that highly qualify them for the position of the best service dog in town. Moreover, we also have here a quick look at the definition of service dogs and some important details about it. Let’s check them out below!
Service Dogs – Its Definition
Generally, service dogs serve as companions and assistants to people with disabilities. People who need the help of the service dogs are those with visual, hearing, or mobility impairments. Good thing that lots of people are now aware of this kind of task of the service animal.
Moreover, service dogs also have the ability to help those individuals who have other medical conditions that are not visible. An example of this is diabetes. Aside from that, other medical ailments that are not obvious in which service dogs may be very helpful are those affecting mental health. These include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
Compared to regular dogs that are considered companion dogs, the service dogs should undergo training in performing specific tasks. With that, the dog may be legally regarded as a service animal. After successfully completing the training, they can help individuals with disabilities. The help that service dogs can offer to the person highly depends on their needs, from giving them their medications to finding help in a medical emergency situation.
The Psychiatric Service Dogs
Like what we’ve mentioned, mental health patients or individuals with mental conditions can also be assisted by service dogs. These service animals are now called psychiatric service dogs like the Golden Retriever service dog for anxiety. Well, the main responsibility of this type of service dog is still the same – helping out and assisting people with mental health issues that hinder the individual’s daily living.
Here are the ways in which the psychiatric service dog may help those people with anxiety:
- Picking up and giving medications or water during the attack of anxiety
- Handing over the phone to individuals during emergency situations like anxiety attack in order to make calls to therapist or other support group
- Bringing someone close to you if you need help
- Offering physical stimulation like licking on the face will help in preventing the emotional stress
- Giving pressure over the person’s chest or abdomen in order to produce a relaxing effect during distress
However, there are instances that people mistakenly recognize service dogs for anxiety or psychiatric service dogs with emotional support dogs. Yet, keep in mind that the latter just basically offers a therapeutic presence to the owner. They are not allowed to perform any tasks as they are not trained in doing so. Basically, this only means that the presence of an emotional support dog is an avenue to mitigate emotional or even psychological symptoms that one may experience.
Golden Retriever Service Dog for Anxiety – the Best Service Dog Breed
Since service dogs can able to provide comfort and relief to an individual, they generally tend to be helpful for anxiety. Based on a scientific basis, oxytocin, a hormone in the human body automatically spreads out within the system the moment people touch or gaze into the dog’s eyes. This is primarily the one responsible for the warm and obscure feeling that people get.
Love hormone is actually the other term for oxytocin. It is because its level generally increases once individuals kiss or cuddle someone. And knowing that, this is probably the reason why the dog lets people feel good the moment the pet snuggles beside humans. The same feeling goes with the dog as when someone shows affection to them. Their oxytocin levels rise as well.
Once you are qualified for a service dog and decide to have one, the dog’s temperament and their compatibility with you are the things that you must have to take into account. Moreover, always remember that there is no dog breed that is almost the same. That’s why it is very much important to choose a dog that has a friendly, loyal, loving, calm, and affectionate nature.
Service dog breeds – the most common ones
In terms of the service dog task, two of the most common breeds that are popularly used are the Retrievers – the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. Yet, you still need to understand some of the basic information regarding the service dogs:
- Service dogs generally vary depending on their size. They usually range from very large dogs to too small breeds that are highly based on the individual’s requirements aligned with his medical issues.
- Part of being a service dog is to perform the given tasks in order to aid and relieve the person’s disability in a relaxing way
- For instance, a Papillon dog breed is not suitable enough for pulling a wheelchair. Yet, this dog breed is perfect in assisting hearing and supporting individuals based on their emotions.
- The trend today is that they usually get recovering dogs from the shelters and utilize their potential as service dogs.
- Moreover, different legislations are available covering and defining those disabilities.
Different dog breeds excellent as service dogs for anxiety
The Large Breeds:
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Border Collie
- Great Pyrenees
The Small Breeds:
- Bischon Frise
- Yorkshire Terrier
Service dog breed for anxiety – the Golden Retriever
There is actually a number of dog breeds that can be used as a psychiatric service dog. Yet, the number one on the list is the Golden Retriever service dog for anxiety. Being a service dog involves a really hard task and not all dogs are qualified as service dogs. Since we mentioned that Golden Retriever is the top on the list, how they become qualified?
Here are the characteristics of the Golden Retrievers that qualify him as a service dog for anxiety:
- Highly trainable
- Sensitive to one’s feeling
The Golden Retrievers possess a number of behaviors that generally make them great service dogs for anxiety. Aside from the above-mentioned characteristics, there are other good examples showing evidence that Golden Retrievers are excellent service dogs. Check out below:
1-The Golden’s Physical Attributes
Once the Goldens already reach their full-grown years, this dog breed tends to have a big, bulky, and sturdy body. Generally, they grow for about 60 to 70 pounds and have a height of 2 feet. The Golden Retrievers usually grow in length than in height.
Moreover, they have straight, curly, or feathered hair in which the color ranges from light to dark shades of golden brown. Aside from that, the coat has a water repellent property. This physical trait of the Goldens is highly crucial for them being service dogs for anxiety because it basically allows them to work out during rainy days.
2-Behavior of the Golden Retriever
Generally, what qualifies Golden Retriever service dog for anxiety is their traits being smart, ability to follow instructions, loyal, and the eagerness to please others. Looking back on history, the Obedience Championship conducted by the American Kennel Club last 1977 had won by three dogs coming from the Golden Retriever breed. Additionally, the Goldens are assertive yet not that reactive.
Another thing that makes them be an excellent Golden Retriever service dog for anxiety is their desire to work and move continuously until such time that they are already exhausted. This is one of the reasons why giving them focus and impose break times is always important. Never forget to appreciate and reward your Goldens attitude of being affectionate and sociable.
Aside from that, this dog breed has a high tolerance and gets along well with children and other animals. Because of that attitude, they usually create a strong bond and good relationship with the other family members.
3-Golden Retriever’s Health Concerns
Both the physical and mental stimulation of the Golden Retriever is generally essential parts of taking care of them. That’s why it is very much important to give them proper attention. Fortunately, the Golden Retriever does not demand a high-maintenance grooming routine. Their coat is smooth and easy to detangle. Yet, always remember to make a schedule for their brushing session every twice a week.
The average life years of the Golden Retrievers are generally around 10 to 12 years. Issues along the joints such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia may be present during their growing years. They are also prone to experiencing arthritis. Other health issues that are actually common to the Golden Retrievers are eye cataracts, heart disease, and skin allergies.
All of the traits mentioned above are great qualities of the Goldens which qualify them as Golden Retriever service dog for anxiety. Because of that, you will get an assurance that they always are on your side everywhere you are most of the time.
Golden Retriever Service Dog for Anxiety – Their Training Process
Since they are really smart and intelligent, the Golden Retriever has the ability to adapt to every new situation. Because of that, the Goldens are regarded as excellent service dogs. Once being qualified as service dogs for anxiety, they must easily trainable because of their devotion to achieving a solitary life task.
Knowing that it is very crucial to understand the different ways on how to train the Goldens to be a reliable service dog. Well, you need to expose the Goldens to different types of training. Have the dogs get into institutions that are able in educating dogs in training them to guide the blinds safely.
Moreover, there are instances in which the dogs may go into training to make them suitable for people with disabilities. Generally, the Goldens have an innate nature of being sensitive to people who are hurting. Dogs still need some training for this especially when it comes to the familiarization with equipment and devices that they might come to deal with.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: CAN I GET A SERVICE DOG FOR ANXIETY?
A: To be able to have service dogs for anxiety, humans must have to meet the specific criteria stated by the specialist organizations. These generally involve having a disability of the physical aspect or have a debilitating psychiatric problem. You also need to secure a recommendation letter signed by the doctor or licensed professional of medical health.
Q: HOW DO I TRAIN MY DOG TO BE A SERVICE DOG FOR ANXIETY?
A: Here are some of the tips that you may consider doing to be able to train your dog to be a service dog for those with anxiety condition:
- Reward the dog with a treat the moment he pays attention to things that are happening around him.
- Teach some alert signs to the dog like the nudge and convert it into verbal commands.
- Simultaneously introduce the symptoms of anxiety together with the verbal command for the signs of alert.
- As your dog practices the alert the moment you are also practicing the symptoms, don’t forget to reward your dog.
Q: CAN DOGS SENSE ANXIETY?
A: Generally, the thing that the dogs have increase feeling of sensitivity is the smell of the rushing of hormones primarily produced by stress. These hormones basically include adrenaline and cortisol. Moreover, there are instances that dogs may already determine the elevation of stress prior to the realization of the owner. With this, the dogs can actually alert the owner for the anticipated emotional change in order to prevent the occurrence of panic attacks.
Service dogs are generally advantageous to humans because from being the best bud, they can also help people in many ways. For example, the Golden Retriever service dog for anxiety is a big help for them not only in attending to the person’s physical needs but also in providing mental support. Being qualified as service dogs is such a hard task and not any dog may able to become a service dog. Yet, for the innate nature of the Golden Retriever as an intelligent and highly trainable dog breed, this task may not be that hard to perform.
Do you have a Golden Retriever? Do they have the qualifications that it takes for them to be service dogs for anxiety? Please share your thoughts with us!