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Authored by Jordan Wolf

Essential Steps to Train an ESA Dog with Less Efforts

A dog can provide a great amount of psychological and emotional support to its owner. This is a general benefit of keeping a dog as a pet. However, dogs are also specifically used to provide emotional stability and strength to mentally and emotionally disturbed people.

The emotional stability provided by the dog is used by the health care providers as a part of treatment for mental illnesses. They prescribe ESAs to mentally and emotionally suffering patients. The patient must get an ESA Letter after the prescription from the therapist. Once a dog has been specified to be an ESA animal, special training needs to be given to use it as a part of therapy.

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Although the law does not provide any special guidelines to train an ESA dog. However, the dog must have the right attitude and basic training to be able to provide the necessary emotional support. Many primitive techniques like can dogs have watermelon and many new like three Ds strategies can be collectively used to get the best results.

Some essential tips to train a dog to be an ESA animal are shared below:

Stick to a method

The key to successfully training a dog to be an ESA animal is consistency and persistent efforts. Training a dog takes time. Hence, choose a method to train the dog and stick to it. Changing methods will result in no training at all.

Once the method has been selected. Make and follow a regular schedule or routine with the dog. This makes the dog familiar with the schedule.

Avoid punishments

The dogs are generally trained using either of the two: positive reinforcement or a negative one. For the scenario of ESA dog training, the former must be selected. The reward and positive reinforcement have been proved to fortify positivity and good behaviors in dogs.

Start at an early age

It is easier to train a puppy instead of a dog. Moreover, the dogs retain the habits developed during their puppyhood throughout their lives. Also, find a puppy bread that is social, caressing, and friendly to all.

An ESA dog has two basic rights that can not be denied by any. It can accompany the owner on flights and can live in a residential building if the owner has an ESA letter for housing.

Start with basics

The training must start from the basic daily life commands like sit, eat, etc. although these do not directly play a role in the provision of emotional support from a dog. However, the trainer in this way can initiate a training process and build trust with the dog.

The trainer must use soft, calm words with an assertive tone. Also, once the dog accomplishes the task, use words like good, OK that signal them to release from the task.

Once the basic training has been done, move on to specialized emotional support tasks.

Deep pressure therapy

The most commonly used form of emotional support therapy is deep support therapy. For this, small dogs are trained to press their bodies against a certain area of the patient's body whereas larger breeds are taught to use their paws. First, teach them to get on sofas:

  • Lure your dog to come to a sofa by offering a treat there.
  • In dog food can dogs have tomatoes daily.
  • Command them to move their paws up when they reach near the sofa by moving treats away from them.
  • Once they are in the position use the command paws on so they get on the sofa.
  • Once the activity is completed, use the command paws down.

After they have learned to get on sofas with you, teach them deep pressure therapy positions. For this purpose show them the position they must take and say a specific word. Once they will get familiar with the word, they will adopt the same position whenever they hear the word.

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