HOW TO GET A SERVICE DOG || The Real, Honest Truth

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hi everyone its Emily and for those of

you who are new to this channel or I've

never seen a video of mine this here is

my service dog Wesley he is a

multi-purpose service dog because he is

learning to be medical alert and he's

medical response for psychiatric reasons

and he's also medical or in response for

some cardiac conditions I have which are

obviously not psychiatric if you saw it

title this video you probably know a

little bit of what it's going to be

about but yes it's a little bit of

clickbait because I know that people who

may not qualify for a service dog are

probably gonna click on this video in

hopes of trying to scam the system or

just have a dog with them everywhere

they go but news flash it's not fun it's

not cool it's not fun at all

so so this video it's gonna be very

informative going to have a lot of

information but it's but it's gonna be

blunt it's not going to kind of skim

over things it's going to be the honest

process it's going to be the honest

process so first things first to qualify

for a service dog you have to be

disabled not all illnesses or disorders

are disabilities that is a key statement

right there I'm gonna put it right here

I think please please please please

remember that another key statement to

go along with that is that one person

might be disabled by something and you

may have the same thing but that doesn't

mean you're automatically disabled by it

if you've taken a look in the service

dog community you've probably seen a lot

of things referencing the a da which is

the American of Disabilities Act I'm

reading this next bit word-for-word from

the ADA a an individual with a

disability is defined by the a da as a

person who has a physical or mental

impairment that substantially limits one

or more major life activities a person

who has a history or a record of

an impairment or a person who is

perceived by others as having such an

impairment first thing is first

when considering a service animal by the


service animals by federal law can

either be a dog or a miniature horse

first things first

go to a medical doctor ice a medical

doctor as in a doctor who has a medical

license because as you know or as you

may not know psychologists therapists

counselors they do not have a medical


many of them are referred to as doctors

because they have either a PhD or a

sidey but this does not make them a

medical doctor if you are considering a

psychiatric service dog go to a

psychiatrist they are well qualified and

for any other medical condition or

condition you might think as a

disability it refer to your other doctor

for non psychiatric conditions but there

is a little note to be added to this a

service dog should not please don't do

this but they should not be used as a

first treatment option I'll get into

more like brief pros and cons about them

later because I want to make a video

about pros and cons but it should not be

a first treatment option so these

doctors that you are going to you should

have have had them you should have been

seeing them

for a decent amount of time so they

truly understand how your illnesses work

please do not just start seeing a doctor

don't just go for two visits and say

like I need a service dog please get me

a service dog because that is not the

right way to do it there are too many

people taking advantage of the system of

how it works

and it really hurts people like me like

other legitimate handlers who depend on

these animals literally for our lives

you've talked to your psychiatrist or

other medical doctor

and they say no they don't think you

would qualify or the dog wouldn't work

out for you or the horse this could be

of for a few reasons one your conditions

how severe they might seem are either

not disabilities or a service animal may

not be able to mitigate them you go more

in depth about that a service dog can

help with certain conditions such as

depression and generalized anxiety

disorder however if you only have one of

these conditions as opposed to having

these conditions amongst others these

tasks may not be able to substantially

help you a service dog may not be worth

it the pros may not outweigh the cons

while service dogs are amazing beings

they are simply unable to mitigate

certain conditions there are limited

tasks for these conditions and others as

well look at the bigger picture when

choosing treatments so you talk to your

doctor and your doctor says yes you

would qualify like why don't we start

looking into it this does not mean go

out get a puppy get the next puppy you

see and boom service animal no that's

not that's not how it works

this is not something that should be

taken lightly this is not something you

want to rush into the next step after

talking to your doctor and then saying

yes is research research research

research do all of the research you can

a lot of people especially like in

schools a lot of teachers a lot of

professionals they say don't go to the

Internet the website the internet isn't

always right yes the internet is not

always right but also they it does have

a lot of amazing information especially

social media platforms like Instagram

Facebook Tumblr a lot of handlers go to

these social media platforms to document

their life and to connect with others in

similar situations so I would recommend

googling or just you know web searching

articles about service animals go onto

Instagram go onto Facebook research

these and look at the people's

lifestyles read up on

articles about people's experiences look

at training all this stuff research

trainers also start researching between

program dogs privately trained dogs as

with professional private trainers or if

you are going to owner train one thing

to keep in mind briefly is that

especially in social media such as

Instagram people generally only post the

positive things and the things they want

people to see they're not going to post

anything that embarrasses them or like

really troubles them so just keep that

in mind one thing I forgot to add like a

couple things I forgot to add that when

you do research first research the ad a

and service animal laws you will notice

that service dogs are not federally

required and have no federal

registration certification any of that

so I recommend I'll leave that down

below but read the paper on service

animals in the ad a which comes directly

from the ad a and also the FA cues about

service animals published by the ad a

and you should find out by reading these

documents is that they have no

registration so if you google service

dogs and you see service animal service

dog registry of America USA or register

service dog don't do this they're

illegal they're actually illegal you've

done all this research next is time to

kind of weigh your options with the

different types of service dogs and how

they're trained program dogs come to you

about like 70 to 100 percent trained you

can get them anywhere from one to two

years old because service dogs take 1 to

2 years to train fully and know there's

no way of getting around this you can't

get a dog and have it fully trained at 6

months so program dogs are great because

it takes a lot of the stress of training

off the handler you know the dogs not

gonna wash machine means pulling a dog

from service work because of one or more

qualities that

team inappropriate for service work the

cons of program dogs are that they're

very expensive they can be anywhere from

like ten thousand to forty thousand

dollars another con is that there is a

chance that the dog won't work for you

especially careful for medical or dogs

because medical alert dogs alert to

usually scent changes like hormone

changes they can smell that heart alerts

they can smell the change in heart rate

and stuff like that but they are amazing

dogs privately trained dogs are dogs

where you just use a private trainer to

help train them usually this is used in

addition to owner training West's owner

trained with professional help

we had an obedience trainer who helped a

little bit with scent work in the way

that he gave me techniques to use

because he helps train the police dogs

that will like smell an article of

clothing or anything like a criminal

dropped and use that to track the person

so he helped with that I think this is

the best option if you can afford it but

that's all that's just my opinion

because you get a big part in training

your service dog they know you they

learn you but also you have help you

have someone or multiple people that

help you through it that know what

they're doing that can help when things

get rough that's a pun umm yeah it is


it is pricier than owner training

completely on your own owner training is

when you it's usually completely trained

your service dog this is the most

inexpensive option but you do have the

highest chance of your dog washing

especially if you're a first-time owner

trainer I'm not saying that it can't be

done but you just have to go into the

situation knowing the risks you're


again washing means your dog has to be

pulled from service work if your dog is

any type of her aggressive human

aggressive dog aggressive food

aggressive toy aggressive reactive dog

reactive if it if your dog is overly


not going through it for your period but

your dog is actually just very anxious

even as they get older even up after

they desensitize if your dog just is a

Barker and you can't seem to work

through that and you've gotten help any

of these and some more are reasons you

should wash your dog please be aware of

the risk of owner training so after

research and this is not like you take

24 hours and research take weeks take a

few months take years if you have to I

took a few months please make sure you

are aware of most things about the

service dog community for example you

should know that if you struggle with

social anxiety or social phobia anything

of that nature a service dogs not

recommended for you because service dogs

service animals bring so much attention

and so much contact with strangers or

people you know it's it's really it's

really awful actually and just to go a

little more in-depth about that yeah

it's fine when someone comes up to you

and says oh you have a beautiful dog but

with those people don't realize is that

you're getting that common every single

place you go by 4 to 10 people at every

public outing and that's just the nice

comments I was in Marshalls

last week and all three of the cashiers

stopped what they were doing to look at

Wes waiting in line with me and I had

turned around because the lady behind me

was trying to call to Wes and I turned

back to face the front and two of the

cashiers were on their phones taking

pictures of me and Wes some people may

not understand why this is so

uncomfortable but one of my things I do

struggle with

our different anxiety disorders and

that's just that's not helpful that that

makes it really uncomfortable and

especially if I'm not having the best

day health-wise I don't want my picture

taken by strangers I don't know who's

getting that picture I don't want to

have to turn around and stop what I'm

doing and say please don't call for my

dog because even though I'm gaining

confidence doing this because I have to

protect my rights and I have to protect

Wes and I have to be and Wes has to be

able to do his job I feel bad I do feel

bad I feel bad that I have to turn

around and some person has to be told

they can't pet a dog and while I

shouldn't feel bad because it's my right

and Wesley is my medical equipment I

feel bad that I tell people things they

don't want to hear and that's something

obviously I have to get through but

please please please please consider

this if you are considering a service

dog so you've done research you know the

trainings you know supplies you know how

different people have gotten through

life with a service dog and you've

decided that it's still a great option

for you next thing to do is to start

looking at breeds I'm going to do a

whole separate video about different

breeds and why I chose a goldendoodle

so that's probably gonna come up within

the next few weeks but very briefly

different breeds make better service

dogs than others I'm gonna compare like

I now golden tree rose one of the best

breathe for service work comparing that

to a - at hound there's nothing wrong

with - at hounds I know I think there

are a few service dogs but certain

breeds have less of a chance of washing

it washing out and they have better

temperaments for the work so amongst the

top breeds for service work are golden

retrievers German Shepherds poodles

though I think those would be the top


then as like a tear down there Labrador

Retrievers Goldendoodles are definitely

becoming more popular and I think off

the top my head those are the most

common oh and Border Collies Border

Collies are used a lot but again with

different breeds they're different

things you have to be careful with and

for example like German Shepherds are

not recommended usually first like yeah

check work and again more information on

this will be in my next video so you

picked a breed you want where you're

gonna get it the most popular place to

get a service animal prospect is

breeders I would recommend and I know a

lot of other people recommend getting a

puppy and starting from puppyhood start

right away for service dog training this

doesn't mean having the 8 year old puppy

and starting to train scent alerts or

anything like that this means that you

have a puppy and you start from day 1

with obedience and certain expectations

of what they can and can't do because if

you have a year old pet well it can be

done they are used to a certain

lifestyle and pet dogs their lifestyles

are extremely different from service dog

lifestyles Wesley was adopted with the

intention of being my service animal so

right away he couldn't bark I had to

correct him he barked he whined I have

to correct him because that is

unacceptable as a service dog especially

because in home it's ok like he can like

dogs are allowed to bark in homes really

like you don't have to wash them for

that but they can't be barking or

whining in public and especially because

right now I am on medical leave but I

was dorming away at my college and I

will be dorming away again of course

with Wes

it is he can't be barking in the dorms a

lot he can't be whining he can't do

those things you have breeders you have

shelters and

have pet stores breathe ears are the

most recommended as I'm sure you can

probably gather by yourself but not

backyard breeders stay away from

backyard feeders but breeders usually

produce the best dogs health-wise but

they are a little pricey many people use

the rescue slash shelter route and it

does work out for some people but others

it doesn't it gives a higher chance of

washouts just because shelter dogs are

usually a little bit older but the main

problem is is that when you get a dog

from a shelter

you often do not know what happened in

their past life you don't know what

traumas they experience you don't know

what their triggers will be you don't

know any of that so I'm not saying you

can't go to a shelter if that's the best

option for you I would just say be

cautious again with pet stores they're

the least recommended because a lot of

pet stores hold their dogs in very very

bad conditions they're all put together

in the same like cubicle they're around

their own feces and urine all day you

don't know where the dogs came from even

though they're puppies so just be

careful with everything and puppies also

you should temperament test them I use

the ball hard temperament test I did it

myself I was researching it all online I

got some tips from one of my friends um

I tested about nine or ten puppies um


so test temperament test your dogs for

service work I recommend checking out

the ball hard temperament test I will

try to link like a website down below

okay finally you've done all this

research you know where you're getting

your dog it's all set up I think you've

got all of your supplies you've got

everything but if you've done all of

this research and all this testing you

did research on breeds you did research

on training everything set to go you

have your dog lined up find support from


many I know many cases where parents are

not supportive or friends are not

supportive find a community find a group

find anyone that will give you support

because this is one of the hardest

things you're gonna do and yes it's an

it's an amazing thing that will

hopefully help your disability and it's

gonna make you more independent and all

of this but it is a crazy hard process

it's usually this is not so much for

program dogs but going through the

training process is one of the most

difficult things you're gonna do but

also with program dogs and owner trained

and privately trained dogs this is a

huge life adjustment it is honestly

going to change every aspect of your

life and please be aware of that you

need people who love you and support you

to help you get through this if a friend

or someone isn't supportive of you or

talks down to you about it you don't

need them in your life a service dog is

meant to help a handler with a

disability it's they're supposed to

mitigate disabilities they're supposed

to give you your independence back if I

do not have Wes I would not be going

away and dorming at the school I love so

much again I would have to stay home and

commute to a local school which is great

for people it's what people want to do

but it's just not what I wanted in my

life I am severely limited and I know

you look at me and people don't think

that but if I do not have West I would

not be going back to my college in the

fall and of course some people don't get

it and that's not my fault it's not my

job to educate everybody I can educate

people I've obviously educated my

friends who care enough because they

want to know because they love me and

they want to know enough about this

thing that has changed my life and has

made it all the more better but if

one's refusing to listen to you it's not

your job there are so many people who

are willing to support you and love you

and help you through this journey okay

so I hope you enjoyed this video if you

have any questions please comment below

this is gonna begin a little miniseries

I think on my channel about like

obviously had a good a service dog how

to like begin training once you get the

dog different breeds why I chose Wesley

just all of that information so yeah I

hope you liked it leave any video

requests down below and yeah