Service Dog Handler RequirementsNot everyone can own a dog and provide the life it needs and deserves to be happy and healthy. Far fewer people have the wherewithal to handle a Service Dog. A Service Dog Handler / Owner should•Maintain the dog’s health by providing appropriate and timelyonutritionoexerciseogroomingodown-time / secure relaxationosecure management from environmental hazardsoveterinary care (worming, parasite intervention, vaccinations etc…)•Be capable of maintaining focus and attention on the dog, especially when in public places. oConsider the skills necessary to be singularly responsible for a three year old child.oRealize that keeping tabs on the dog’s behavior is more important than eating a meal at a restaurant or watching a television show at home.•Be able to instantly evaluate that intervention is necessaryoto keep the dog safeoto stop the dog from triggering on a distractionoto prevent a stranger from interfering with your dogoto deliver a necessary command or correction•Be able to immediately execute the actions necessary for the above mentioned interventions•Have the capacity to impose her will upon the dogoto offer benevolent leadershipoto control the dog if it misbehavesoto establish predictability, trust and respect•Recognize and own the responsibility for the dog’s behavior always in all ways•Willingly and promptly seek assistance when necessary to maintain the dogs best condition, psychologically and physically•Feel confident expressing the following ideasoTo resolve unacceptable behavior, a correction method should be used.oTo encourage a dog to present new /challenging behaviors, a positive reinforcement method should be used. oA balanced approach to training makes sense to me.oits my job to be able to evaluate and execute the appropriate methods in a calm, relaxed and confident mannerA student who is learning to become a Service Dog handler•is likely to present the following conditions, during class and at homeoPerformance anxietyoStressoconcern, worryofrustration oangeroself-doubtoirritability•must be able to move through those challenges owithout taking out the frustration, anger or stress on the dogoand quit working with the dog when he experiences heightened emotional conditions•must refrain from any form of physical abuse to the dog•must be courteous to others in the class and at home when working with his dog•must not permit her dog to interfere with other students or dogs in the classroom or in public•should recognize and respect that the instructors have good intentions and are coaching rather than judging•should recognize that family members most probably have good intentions and are coaching rather than judgingA disabled individual who is not able to handle his own dog, can still benefit from a Service Dog. However, a competent dog handler must be responsible for the dog’s behavior. A parent may handle the service dog for her disabled child, as long as she can maintain the standards defined above for the dog’s care and behavior.