Your Service Dog and You

A Practical Guide


In stock

About the Book

Service dogs play an important role in society, assisting their handlers in leading independent, fulfilling lives. These amazing dogs are trained to work with a wide range of disabilities, from visual impairments to PTSD, and come from a variety of breeds and backgrounds. Some service dogs are custom bred and trained by large charities, while others are rescue dogs of indeterminate breed, trained entirely by their owners.
Disability knows no bounds and can strike anyone, at any time, leaving us alone, scared and confused, with many of us wondering how feasible it would be to integrate a service dog into our lives. This is a practical guide, written from the perspective of an ordinary dog owner turned service dog trainer, following her own need for a service dog. It covers everything from service dog breeding and selection, how to acquire a service dog, basic training, and public access work, to your dog’s eventual retirement. Chapters also detail the day-to-day realities of living with and loving a service dog.

About the Author(s)

Nicola Ferguson is a neurodiverse service dog trainer from the Wirral Peninsula, England, UK. In addition to training service dogs, she writes science fiction books and humorous books about dogs.

Brian Patrick Duggan is a canine historian and author of several books and numerous articles about dogs in history. He is a retired university technology educator and an American Kennel Club judge.

Bibliographic Details

Nicola Ferguson. Series Editor Brian Patrick Duggan
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 198
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9080-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4912-2
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Dogs in Our World

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Chapter One. The History of the Service Dog (But Not as You Know It) 3
Chapter Two. What Defines a Service Dog in Today’s World? 11
Chapter Three. Service Dog Tasks and Breed Suitability 17
Chapter Four. The Big Think—Service Dog Training Ideologies 32
Chapter Five. Big Bad Bully or Yap on a Strap? Which Breed Suits You? 46
Chapter Six. How to Get Your Grubby Mitts on a Service Dog 75
Chapter Seven. The Down and Dirty on Service Dog Selection 85
Chapter Eight. Before Puppy Comes Home 106
Chapter Nine. Finding a Dog Trainer 114
Chapter Ten. Basic Service Dog Training 123
Chapter Eleven. Out and About 139
Chapter Twelve. Service Dog Gear 156
Chapter Thirteen. Traveling with Your Service Dog 163
Chapter Fourteen. Bringing Your Service Dog to Work 169
Chapter Fifteen. Maintaining a Healthy Service Dog, from Puppyhood to Retirement 173
Chapter Sixteen. So Long, Farewell and All That Jazz 180
Glossary 183
Chapter Notes 185
Bibliography 188
Index 189