How to Train your Emotional Support Dog

Here’s How to Train your Emotional Support Dog

The emotional support dogs are dependable companions for all those people dealing with mental or emotional disorders. Like normal pet dogs and service dogs, these emotional support dogs are not trained to perform any physical tasks for their owners instead they are trained differently.

There are not any hard and fast rules of training for your emotional support dogs before registration and they are easily recognized by their behaviors.

How to Train your Emotional Support Dog

If you are intending to adopt or buy a dog for emotional support, or if you plan to train your pet dog, you should follow the guidelines below before your training.

  1. Basic Obedience in Emotional Support Dog Training

After you choose a dog, you should start the course with meekness training, that includes “Sit”, “Down”, ”Come”, “Stop”, “Heel”, etc. As soon as you start with these pieces of training, it will become easier to prepare your emotional support dog. Other than obedience training, going outside to meet people should also be trained to prevent anti-social behavior like barking, jumping, grabbing or pleading for food.

  1. Specialized Anxiety Techniques

Emotional support dogs training includes many techniques that are specially designed to reduce stress and anxiety in hard moments.

Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT) is one of the most common techniques that is taught to emotional support dogs. DPT is the application of pressure on specific areas of your body, like your chest, which helps to relieve emotional and mental stress.

Small breed dogs are taught to sit on top of you in a suitable spot, while larger breeds will rest their head and paws on you wherever required, this method is appropriate for people who suffer from airsickness. You also need to teach your dogs to stay calm all this time.

For this purpose, you need to start your emotional support dog’s training in the following manner

  • On the sofa with “Paws up” command

During emotional support dog training, if your dog is not used to sit on the sofa, you may need to excite it with some tasty delights. The first step is to show your dog some delights, whereas at the same time slowly move the delight to the sofa and giving the command “Paws up”. Give the treat right after it listens to the command.

Depending on your dog’s will to join you on the sofa, you may have to return him each time he gets closer to being on the sofa while learning on How to Train Your Emotional Support Dog.

You may need to practice it without getting angry, particularly with an adult dog. If you have a small breed, the main goal will be to have all four paws on the sofa. Whereas the nature of a large breed is to place only the front paws or head on the sofa. You will have to practice the “paws up” exercise with its favorite treats until it understands what that command means.

The next step is to train your dog to take its paws away under the “paws off” command, the same as the previous training. This is the reverse process of the “paws up” exercise and takes your dog off the sofa with the “paws off” command.

  • Keep your dog stay on the sofa

Emotional support dogs help you to stay calm in your tough times and depression, for that they need to apply pressure on you. The smaller dogs help in this matter by hugging you while it is lying vertically beside your body with the paws on the shoulder and head near yours. Whereas a large dog will put its paws on your leg or knees and keep its head down while you are in a sitting position.

In the beginning, you need to give your dog a good treat after every command so that he feels good and motivated for the next task. But, you need to stop giving it treats to make it realize that these are its tasks, not the reward games.


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