Emotional support dog training is surely a certain way to ensure and enjoy all the privileges of having an ESA.
You may be living in a place or building with no pet policy, training your emotional support dog some basic obedience skills can help you in enjoying those privileges. Having an ESA means that your rights as an ESA owner are protected under the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act. under these laws, you do not have to pay anything extra to live and fly with your dog.
It can also help you in building a strong bond between you and your furry friend.
Unlike what most people think, just having an ESA dog is not enough. To be able to live and travel with him, you need to give him proper training. However, to train your dog, you need to be careful that you are not being overly strict with your dog.
Animals do not respond well to strict and aggressive training. When training an emotional support dog, be gentle but firm and make sure that your dog understands your commands correctly.
What is an Emotional Support Dog?
An emotional support animal, ESA, or dog is prescribed by a licensed medical professional and provides emotional support to its owner. Its purpose is to provide a health benefit for those suffering from any kind of mental illness.
Emotional support dogs have some advantages over regular dogs/pets:
- They have access to all types of housing.
- They are allowed to fly with their owners in the airplane cabin.
- The handler of an ESA would not be charged any additional cost for airline access and for housing.
It is important to note that emotional support animals, therapy dogs, or service animals are not considered pets. They are different from service animals and have limited public access but they enjoy more rights than therapy dogs. Therapy dogs work in nursing homes and have fewer rights than the ESA or service dog.
Who can Qualify for an ESA Dog?
If a person suffers from any of the following mental illness or any emotional disability, then he/she can qualify for an emotional support dog:
- Postpartum Depression
- Anxiety Disorder
- Fear and Phobias
- Panic Attacks
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Anxiety Attacks
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
An ESA letter is prescribed by a licensed mental health professional only to the people who qualify as mentally disabled. But your family doctor or any other doctor like a cardiologist cannot write your recommendation letter.
Why Emotional Dog Training is Important?
Can you rely on an unpredictable dog? Certainly not. A well-trained dog is reliable and you can rely on him to behave appropriately no matter where you are. These dogs can go a long way to control an anxiety attack in some stressful situations.
People going through from conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD will need their animals all the time and wherever they go.
When traveling with your dog, it is important that it has the proper training to accompany you on your journey. Some dogs are even trained to identify certain signs of anxiety in their owners and act accordingly.
If a person is suffering from claustrophobia, the ESA support dog can move between the person and other people to create room for breathing.
Emotional Support Animal Training Commands
How to train a dog? When it comes to training your dog, generally, there are two choices. You can prepare the dog yourself or you can have it professionally trained. In either case, training is important, not the ‘who’ and ‘where’ part of it.
It is never too late to begin training your dog. If you got a puppy, start training as soon as you take your little friend home.
Following are the 5 most important commands that are important for you to teach your fluffy friend.
This command is important to teach your dog to ‘listen’ to you no matter where you are. It is important so that your dog could reach you in case you need him or you want to keep him away from danger. Use treats and rewards to make your dog understand why he should listen to you.
This skill is essential to keep your dog safe from harm. Stay command is built on three Ds:
Start off with your dog from a sitting position, give the stay signal. After a few seconds, reward. Repeat the steps until your dog understands that staying in a position will give rewards.
Usually, this is the first and most simple command that dogs learn.
In a standing position, hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose. After that, move backward and the dog will go down into a sitting position.
The command is very much similar to the sit command. When your dog is in a sitting position, hold a treat in front of their face, and slowly take the treat down.
Their body will automatically go into lying down position.
This is one of the most important cues for dogs that are mostly in public places. With a dog on a leash, sit and step on a leash in a way that your hound has room enough to sit, stand, and turn.
Once the dog settles by your side, give a treat.
‘Leave it’ is an important command that you need to teach your support dog. This is applied to both dangerous and unpleasant items to dogs or people.
This command requires time and patience to master. Keep the three Ds in mind while teaching your dog the ‘leave it’ commands.
These are the basic commands that are important for you to teach your emotional support dog.
What is the best way to train a dog? Honestly, there is no single good way of training your dog and you could use different methods for it. However, do add some things in it for greater benefits and better training.
How to Get an Emotional Support Dog
How to adopt an emotional support dog? Unlike other animals, dogs have a built-in mechanism to make a human feel better and this is why they score so high on both the pet and ESA scales.
An ESA dog does not need any kind of special training. A dog that is prescribed to you as an emotional support animal provides you love, comfort, and companionship.
Any Dog can be an ESA?
Dogs can help you ease the symptoms of emotional or mental disabilities.
So, it would not be wrong to say that any dog can be your companion animal. Either big or small, short-haired or fluffy, Golden Retriever or German Shepherd… the choice is yours!
All you need is to get a valid letter from a licensed medical professional.
Emotional Support Dog Training Requirements Vs Service Dog Training
An emotional support animal dog and a service dog cannot be put into the same category.
A service dog is different from an emotional support dog. It might seem like that they perform the same functions since they are used for the comfort of their owners. But it is an entirely different scenario.
There is no need to provide any type of specific training to emotional support dogs. But a service dog goes through tough training to provide assistance to an individual with any form of disability. Service dog training requirements require the dog to perform the desired task and assist the owner in it.
These conditions include mobility impairment, hearing impairment, visual impairment, seizures, or similar.
This training could be either professional or you could train the dog yourself also. Training your own service dog will help you build a strong relationship with your animal and you can customize the training also.
Training service dogs or assistance dogs require a long period of time. It may be up to 1 to 2 years. However, emotional support dog training is just a few weeks long. Similarly, an ESA does not need any training certificate but a service dog needs a service dog training certification to qualify and work.
It is important to note that the dog’s training is a non-stop process. Not only it is important for the dog’s mental health but it will help you retain a strong bond between you and your little friend.
Get Your ESA Letter Online
An emotional dog support certificate is commonly known as an ESA letter. It is important for you to have a valid letter to take your support animal wherever you go. A licensed mental health professional can provide you this letter by recommending that you need an ESA for a better life and proper functioning.
No access to a medical professional?
RealESALetter.com can help you get a valid ESA letter.
The process is very simple and consists of a few steps.
Just fill out the form and wait for a while. If you are eligible for an ESA, you will be contacted by an LMHP. After assessing your needs and how the pet can provide you assistance, you can qualify for an ESA letter.
A valid ESA letter will state that you have a mental or emotional condition and need an assistance animal to reduce some of the symptoms.
Contact us and see if you qualify.