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Service Dog For Autistic Adults

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How a service dog transformed daily life for a boy with autism

Autism assistance dogs are trained to provide safety for a children and foremost. They are attached to the child via a belt and the dog is trained to respond to the parent handler. They are trained to benefit children with little sense of danger, who are prone to eloping and suffer reactive behaviours due to sensory stimulation whilst out and about. Therefore Autism assistance dogs are not suitable for placement with adults. Autism Assistance Dogs does, however, consider applications from adults for companion dogs.

Service Dogs For Autism: How Can They Help

Service dogs can be trained to help individuals with physical or psychological disabilities. As the service dog holds the job to specifically assist their handlers, a trained autism service dog can provide individuals with autism invaluable assistance in a number of ways.

From helping their handler conquer social barriers to distracting them in times of distress, an autism service dog can take on many tasks.

The Best Dog Breeds To Serve People With Autism

In our world today, dogs are indeed extremely useful. They become our best friends, accompanying us at home, giving us the extra love that we need, and also entertaining us one way or another. But dogs can be so much more valuable than that. They can also become service dogs, emotional support dogs, and/or therapy dogs.

They can provide support to the physically disabled people. They can also guide the blind and deaf while traversing outside their homes. Some even perform lifesaving tasks like monitoring the blood sugar level of diabetic people. They can even provide comfort to people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental illnesses.

In particular, there are service dogs that can serve people with autism, especially autistic children. But many people wonder, from the many breeds of dogs, which ones are best suited to serve or accompany people with autism? Lets find out the answer below.

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What Does An Autism Service Dog Do

Some people are low on the autism spectrum and others are higher, having very complex needs. Very often autistic people need support and intervention in their everyday lives, and service dogs play an important role in helping them live life to the full. This can be offered in the form of an autism service dogs.

Just like all other service dogs, autism service dogs are specially trained to offer support for somebody who suffers with autism. They also help autistic children develop better social skills, expand both verbal and non-verbal communication, and increase their interest in activity.

Below, well take a look a closer look at autism service dogs and how they are a great addition to any family with an autistic child.

What Tasks Are Paws Dogs Trained To Do

Autism Assistance Dogs

PAWS Dogs have over 40 tasks they could be trained in, including retrieving and delivering dropped items, tugging to remove items of clothing and opening doors. Service Dogs may pull a lightweight manual wheelchair or turn lights on and off. Hearing Dogs primarily alert and orient clients to common sounds. Seizure Response Dogs respond to a clients seizure by summoning help or providing stimulation. Service Dogs for Children with Autism act as a constant companion to a child to help them improve social, communication and life skills.

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Service Dogs Aid People With Autism

There is a Native American legend that says that after creating humankind, the Spirits created a chasm between their world and ours. And although Dog had the opportunity to return to the spirit world, at the last moment, he leapt over the widening gap to remain with us. Scientifically speaking, archeological records confirm that the relationship between humans and canines dates back at least 14,000 years.

The primary motivation for obtaining an assistance dog is increased independence and community inclusion. However, assistance dogs also provide their human partners with social and emotional support, and whats referred to as social capital.

Studies indicate that being partnered with an assistance dog can increase emotional well-being of individuals with disabilities, and increase social interactions, both short and long-term. For individuals with autism, an increase in avenues for social acceptance and interaction is extremely meaningful.

The Role of the Autism Service Dog

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of discussing autism service dogs is how much variety there is in the tasks assigned to these workers. And although each assistance dog must be trained to work in tandem with its specific human partner, there is a bit more consistency in training traditional guide and service dogs than with autism service dogs whose duties may include:

The Pros and Cons of Getting a Service Dog

Acquiring a Service Dog

Public Access Issues

What Should Every Parent Consider Before Getting An Autism Service Dog

Before getting an autism service dog for your child you need to be sure that the child is not afraid of dogs and can get along with them. It is not mandatory that the child is an extreme dog lover, but it should be able to get along with them and not feel afraid of dogs in general. The child should not be allergic to dog fur as well.

As service dogs are trained to perform tasks, some of which can be very demanding, they need playtime and relaxation time in order to recover. Parents of children with autism need to be patient, motivated and devoted to the training and raising of the dog. If/when the behavior of the child changes through the years, the tasks that the service dog needs to perform, should be updated accordingly. The process should be supervised constantly.

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More Than Physical Safety

Proponents of autism service dogs argue that these dogs do more than just enhance the physical safety of the person with ASD. It is believed that the dogs are a calming presence that can decrease and even put a stop to emotional outbursts. Advocates claim these dogs help deal with environments that are over-stimulating, stressful situations, and reading social cues. A few additional ways service dogs are useful for kids with autism include:

To Help You Make The Right Decisions When Buying A Autism Service Dog For Sale We Created A List Of Questions You Can Use To Expose The Top 10 Autism Service Dog Myths Arm Yourself With These Questions When Shopping For A Autism Service Dog Or Autism Service Dog Training

What Is An Autism Assistance Dog?

Dont forget to ask the Autism service dog schools, agencies and trainers these questions before you hand over your money, or put yourself or your child on a 2 to 10-year waiting list.

If you are buying an Autism Service Dog, you need to know what the you are getting for your money.

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Top 6 Service Dog Breeds For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

1. Labrador Retriever

Hard-working, lovable, selfless, and kind, easy to train, calm, and eager-to-please personality of Labrador Retriever makes it the perfect choice for autism therapy.

They are kind to everyone they meet and are a wonderful choice for bonding with children with autism.

2. Golden Retriever

The list of service dogs for autism is incomplete without Golden Retriever. They are gentle, loving, patient, loyal, and exceptionally easy to train.

This breed has a calm temperament and decent intelligence. And this is the reason why they are trained as service or therapy dogs.

3. The Great Pyrenees

They are smart, patient, and has a calm temperament. The Great Pyrenees can quickly spring into action and move with grace and speed to meet a threat.

They are very bonded to and protective of their families. Their height is about 27 to 32 inches and this makes them quite sturdy.

The Great Pyrenees arent barkers. So they are best for children who are sensitive to noise. It easily learns to look after and protect an autistic child.

4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

It is considered one of the best breeds to accompany autistic children. They may look serious and dangerous but they are actually famous for their trustworthiness, loyal, and loving nature.

Many autistic children benefit from the love, care and, companionship which Staffies provide.

5. Newfoundland

6. Labradoodle

Autism Service Dog Tasks Work And Benefits

Autism is a spectrum and manifests differently in each person, so its difficult to generalize about the needs of autistic people. Autism is also a lifelong condition so the lifestyle, daily routines, and needs of an autistic person necessarily change as they age from childhood into adolescence, adulthood, and retirement. Not every autistic person needs nor could benefit from an autism service dog but many autistic people receive concrete benefits and assistance from their autism service dog, partly because service dogs are as individual as autism itself.

To meet the legal definition of a service dog, the dog must provide a service for a person with a disability as defined by the ADA and must be individually trained to perform task and/or work that mitigate the symptoms of that persons disability. The individualized nature of both autism and service dogs makes them a logical match. An autism service dog must perform specific task or work but there may also be a number of additional benefits that wouldnt necessarily by themselves qualify the dog as a service dog. Not all of the tasks and work listed below would be helpful to every autistic person, nor is the list meant to be exhaustive, but merely a sample of some of the benefits of an autism service dog to an autistic person.

Sensory Processing


Deep Pressure Therapy

Tactile Stimulation

Behavior interruption

Behavior substitution






Eloping protections

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The 7 Best Dog Breeds For Autism

Wed like to note that while breeds are a good starting point, whats more important is the individual dog themselves. If a dog has the qualities youre looking for, then it doesnt matter if theyre a mixed breed in a shelter.

That said, lets take a look at some of the best dog breeds for autism. They are in no particular order because what is best for one person may not be best for another.

Training Autism Service Dogs Takes Two Years But They’re Not Always

Autism Service Dog

Training autism service dogs takes two years. But they’re not always

Carlin, her current trainee, is 19-months-old and a few months away from completing a two-year training program to become a certified autism service dog. According to National Service Dogs, an Ontario charity training dogs for various capacities, service dogs can offer support to autistic or epileptic individuals. Allain said the absence of a formal certification requirement for service dogs creates a loophole that people exploit, sometimes putting a vest on any kind of dog and pretending theyre service dogs. In British Colombia, the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act gives service dogs in training the right to access public places. His 15-year-old son Jay has autism, and received Chester as his service dog about five years ago. .

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What Are The Responsibilities Of The Client Who Receives A Paws Assistance Dog

Clients must be able to follow through with the in-home and public training process with their local PAWS Field Representative. Clients must be committed to maintaining the dogs training throughout the lifetime of the team and to providing for the well-being of the dog . It is advisable to research yearly veterinary, grooming and feeding costs in your specific area prior to applying for an Assistance Dog. Paws With A Cause provides ongoing training support for its teams.

What Can Autism Service Dogs Do

  • Create a safe environment by reducing the threat of wandering
  • Control of the person on the spectrum who may bolt into harm’s way
  • Teaching care and responsibility to the handler
  • Minimize aggression and frustration in those with spectrum issues
  • Trained to offer comfort when there is chaos or confusion
  • Aid with sleep
  • Aid in social interactions
  • Beneficial for communicating
  • Reduce emotional stress so those on the spectrum can participate in school, work and social time in the fullest way possible

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What If I Have Other Pets In My Home

PAWS does place an Assistance Dog in homes that have cats, birds or other small caged pets. Effective September 1, 2012, no PAWS Assistance Dog will be placed in a home with any other dog, unless it is a retired PAWS Dog or working Assistance Dog from an Assistance Dogs International or International Guide Dog Federation-accredited agency for someone else in the household. It has been our experience that other dogs in the home can interfere with the bonding and training process of the Assistance Dog Team.

Is A Service Dog Right For The Individuals Needs

Family seeks funding for service dog for child with autism

Most people on the Autism spectrum have varying needs, which means the dog they have as support will have to meet those needs. This means that training cannot be cookie-cutter for each dog. They will need to be trained in specific ways that are individually defined.

You will need to consider the size and type of dog along with their breed characteristics to assess what will work best for the individual who is on the spectrum. What traits match the person who will use the service dog? They need to fit together.

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Tactile Stimulation On Command

When presented with overstimulating situations, some children may resort to repetitive self-stimulating behaviors that can often be damaging. These could include picking at skin, hitting their head, verbal repetitions, and many others. Autism Service Dogs can be trained to nudge or paw at the child to get their attention back on their dog rather than whatever may be upsetting them. This interruption can often aid in changing the habit of engaging in those self-stimulating behaviors.

Which Dog Is The Best Fit For Me

In order to assess what breed would be best for you, you must first identify what you will be using the service dog for. There are a variety of dog breeds that are best suited for service. The most popular service dog breeds are golden retrievers and german shepherds, though some other common breeds include labradors, border collies, and pitbulls. If there are any allergies, a hypoallergenic breed such as schnauzers, poodles, or goldendoodles would be best. While most breeds can perform the same tasks, some may be better at certain tasks than others. For example, according to an article in The Association of Professional Dog TrainersChronicle of the Dog magazine, golden retrievers tend to be easier to train and are ideal for emotional support, while border collies are high-energy and are best for a job that is more physically demanding.

When looking for a service dog, you must also take into account the dogs needs. Different dogs require different diets depending on their size and nutritional needs. The general costs of veterinary care may also vary depending on the breed, as some breeds are more prone to medical problems than others. It is best to conduct your own research on the breed you are thinking of adopting as a service dog to ensure it does not make you go over your budget.

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How To Get A Service Dog For An Autistic Child

Getting a service dog involves two phases Completing an Application Process and Fundraising & Training.

Phase-I: Completing an Application Process

Following steps are included in this phase-

1. Fill in the application form for your chosen assistance program.

  • You have to go through an application process. For qualifying for a service animal, each assistance program has a unique set of guidelines. However, most of them are the same.
  • You have to provide basic information like the name and address of the parent and child.
  • You also need to provide information about the childs physical therapist, occupational therapist, psychologist.

2. Provide all the information related to your childs condition.

  • You have to describe your childs autism and how it is affecting their daily living skills .
  • You need to provide details on any medical treatments or medications they are undergoing currently. Give the information, if your child follows any restrictions or precautions related to autism.
  • Also provide details about any adaptive equipment, such as crutches or a wheelchair used by a child.

3. Proof that you will be able to care for the dog.

  • The next step is to assess whether you are able to care for a dog.
  • The agency will inquire about who lives in the household, if you have any other pets, and the type of service dog you are seeking.
  • They need to know who will be handling the dog and if you will be able to provide food and grooming for the dog.

Phase-II: Fundraising and Training

Buy An Autism Service Dog For Sale

Trained Autism Service Dog to Help Five

How can someone say any dog, much less an Autism Service Dog, is trained if it has not had Off-Leash Dog Training? How is a dog trained for Public Access according to the Americans with Disabilities Act if the dog is not actually trained?


a. Are the autism service dogs you sell or train generally off-leash obedient?

b. I dont want my service dog running away. Are you an off-leash trainer?

c. How come your website doesnt show autism dogs off-leash?

d. How can you train for ADA compliance if you are not an Off-Leash Trainer?

e. How come your website has no photos of trained service dogs off-leash?

f. How come Service Dog School of America has 1000s of photos of dogs trained off-leash, but you do not?

2. A 2 to 10-year waiting list is a polite way of blowing off people who dont have money.

The disabled who have money, or able to raise money on social media, for their Autism Service Dog move to the front of the line. Some of our competitors tell you their dogs are free, but you still have to raise $9800. Since when is $10,000 free? The reality is they are disrepecting the disabled by not providing fairness-in-dealing by giving poor people that are suffering false hope about getting a Autism Service Dog if they dont have the money, friends or family to pay, or the energy to raise 40 grand.

Service Dog School of America is an example of private enterprise creating a better product that costs less money.

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