Service dogs can assist people with disabilities or medical conditions in a wide variety of ways. They allow people to have more freedom so they can live fuller lives. If your doctor things you would benefit from a service dog, you have the option of purchasing one outright. However, you may be able to acquire a service dog faster by training one yourself. Here are four steps you can take when training your service dog.

1. Choose the right breed.

All dogs are individuals, but certain breeds are more likely to have the right characteristics of a training dog. A training dog must be able to remain calm, even when you're having a medical emergency. For instance, dogs trained to assist in the event of seizures must not be fearful of your erratic and uncontrolled movements. Depending on the type of service dog you need, you may also need to choose a large dog. This is true of anyone who requires physical support. If your dog is a medical alert dog, smaller breeds may be used if they have the correct temperament.

2. Socialize your dog.

When puppies are raised with their littermates, their mother and siblings will usually teach them good manners. If you adopt your puppy from a young age, you will need to be the one to teach them. Start socializing your puppy as soon as it's safe to do so, usually when they have received all their shots. Service dogs need to be comfortable in a variety of public settings, around all sorts of people and animals. Bring your dog to the dog park and have your friends and family come visit regularly. This will allow your puppy to grow up comfortable with social interaction.

3. Find a service dog training school.

Unless you have trained service dogs in the past, you should find a service dog training school to train your dog. Service dog training is different from ordinary training. It's more thorough and rigorous, as service dogs must be trusted to do their jobs even in difficult circumstances. 

4. Ensure adequate time for training.

Service dog training schools employ professional dog trainers. However, your dog still needs to learn things in their own time. Results don't happen over night. According to At Your Service Dog Training, you can expect your dog's service animal training to take about two years from start to finish. Some dog training programs offer more intensive training programs where they board your dog for a more thorough training regimen.

For more information, contact a service dog training school near you.