Welcome to Boss Co. 

​On this page you will find the answers to all your burning questions about service and therapy dogs! If there is something here that we haven't addressed, please feel free to use the "contact" page and we will do our best to answer it. 

Who are we?

When you see us out in public, who are our dogs? Let us introduce you to the dogs in our Service Dog program...

Vandal

Vandal is a 6 year old German Shepherd Dog.

She has been certified under the Alberta Service Dog Act for 3 years now. 

Vandal loves to play fetch and go riding with her horses.

Vandal is trained in tasking for PTSD and anxiety, as well as the foundations of Search and Rescue work.

Khia

Khia is a 4 year old German Shepherd Siberian Husky cross. 

She has been certified under the Alberta Service Dog Act for 1 year now. 

Khias favorite thing to do is RUN! She also loves chewing on raw bones.

Khia is tasked trained for mobility assist, PTSD and anxiety. 

Luna

Luna is a 2 year old Labrador Maramma cross. 

She is a Service Dog in Training.

Luna loves to blow bubbles in water and snuggle.

Luna is being task trained for mobility support.

What is the difference between a Service Dog and a Therapy Dog?

What is an Emotional Support Dog?

The difference between a Service Dog (SD), Therapy Dog (TD) and Emotional Support Animals (ESA) is mostly easily summed up as SD have public access rights and are task trained, while TD and ESA do not have public access rights and are not task trained.


In Canada, SD and TD are recognized within the provincial and federal levels. They have organizations dedicated to their training and the services they provide to their communities. ESA are not recognized nor protected in Canada. They are essentially your well trained family pet!


SD are protected under provincial laws and have Public Access rights that allows them to assist their human handler in public so long as they are under control and have passed the Public access testing within their province.


Here is a link to the Service Dog Act in Alberta


https://open.alberta.ca/publications/s07p5

 

Can I pet your Service Dog?

The short answer is: No.

 

Why can't I pet your Service Dog?

A Service Dog (SD) has a very important job to do with it's handler. 


Some jobs that SD help their handler with include:

- mobility support

- psychological support

- hearing or vision support

- detection of seizures, diabetic fluctuations, allergies, etc.


When you pet a SD, whistle or call to it, point it out, or attempt it to get its attention is any way you could potentially cause harm to its hander. A distracted SD cannot do the tasked trained to keep its handler safe. 

 

Mobility Support Dogs

Service Dogs who assist their handlers in mobility support with things such as:

- picking up items that are dropped

- standing or sitting still for the handler to use them as a brace for getting up and/or down

- walk beside a mobility assisting device such as walkers or scooters

- help with steadiness on stairways

- retrieving medications and other items 

Psychia​tric/PTSD Dogs

Service Dogs who assist their handlers with injuries of the mind.

These tasks can be:

- interrupting impulses such as shaking legs, fidgeting hands or pick if the skin 

- provide security with things like entering a  room first and turning on lights

- deep pressure therapy for anxiety and tactile stimulation

- crowd control or "keeping the distance" through handler blocking

- retrieving medication and other items

Service Dogs in Training

Service Dogs in Training (SDiT) are dogs that have moved on from prospects into candidates and enter into the Public Access training. This is also where they will start to learn specific tasks for their future work. 


SDiT do not have the same Public Access rights as a fully qualified Service Dog.


https://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/S07P5.pdf

And now to answer your most burning ques​tion...

How do I make my dog a Service Dog?

The first thing to consider is if your dog is a right fit to be a Service Dog (SD). Most dogs are actually not suited to do the very important job of assisting a person in nearly all aspects of their life. SD are specifically trained in tasks to mitigate a person's disability. This disability is diagnosed by a doctor and they will be the ones who fill out your medical forms for the start of your journey into utilizing a canine for assistance. 


The next step will be to test your dog on it's temperament and obedience levels. Not all dogs are suited OR want to work as a SD!


https://www.alberta.ca/get-service-dog-assessed.aspx

 

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