A cute dog with his arm up

Why Canine Good Citizen Training Is a Good Idea for Your Emotional Support Dog

7 min read

What do we know about dogs? Come to think of it, we usually treat them as loving, caring and devoted little friends that always want to please their caretakers. Indeed, dogs like nobody else in the world are always ready to do anything to make their owners happy and keep their spirits high.

Dogs may give emotional support to anyone around but some of us often need this support a bit more. This refers to those who suffer from mental disorders like panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and others. And that’s where ESA pets come into play while dogs often deal with this task better than anyone would expect.

However, it’s also true that nowadays ESA laws are getting stricter and all ESA owners should be aware of not only their freedoms but also a few restrictions. There is one simple fact every owner of an ESA dog should remember – although support dogs do not require any particular training, you should still teach them good manners to make sure they know how to behave in public. If you ignore this rule, your dog may even lose its privileges as a support animal.

Below you’ll find all you need to know about how to turn your furry companion into a well-behaved representative of the canine world.

What every well-mannered ESA dog should be like?

A well-mannered dog wearing glasses
Having a well-mannered dog as an ESA will help to avoid numerous problems with landlords, airline workers, etc.

The very purpose of an ESA is to remain a comforting and soothing companion for anyone who wants to restore the mental stability. And dogs are especially suitable for this role. ESA dogs require no specific training, but they should still remain respectable members of the local community.

Why is it so important? Well, the truth is that if your dog doesn’t know the rules of behavior, it may cause inconveniences to other people and your right of ownership may even be removed. That’s why your dog should be trained to behave properly and you as a pet parent will be responsible for its training.

Luckily, it’s not very difficult to achieve as long as you apply for the specially designed Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program. This is an excellent way to teach your dog good manners and it will help your pet to learn a few important skills such as:

  • Meeting strangers in a friendly way;
  • Being able to walk through a cluttered and crowded place;
  • Knowing your commands and obeying them;
  • Being responsive (approaching when called);
  • Acting normally when there is any source of distraction ahead of you like someone riding a bike;
  • Knowing how to walk on a not too tight lead;
  • Having a normal reaction to other animals.

At the same time, your ESA dog should also possess a few important natural qualities to live up to its title. At the very least, the dog shouldn’t be too timid or easily excitable. After all, if it gets intimidated or overexcited too easily, how will it help you overcome the dark times in your life? Instead, your dog should be calm and responsive by nature and it should demonstrate devotion to its owner which is exactly what makes any dog the “man’s best friend”.

What happens if your dog breaks basic rules of behavior?

A dog has torn an armchair
Breaking basic rules of behavior might result in losing benefits obtained by the ESA status of your pet

As mentioned earlier, unlike other assistance animals such as service dogs, ESA dogs require no training to approve their status. However, the reputation of emotional support dogs is gradually getting worse and it doesn’t seem likely to improve in the nearest future.

The reason for this is simple – some ESA dog owners abuse the status of their animals and don’t teach them to behave properly. But this doesn’t mean they won’t face any problems with the law. On the contrary, the chances are that they will get into trouble because of the wrongful behavior of their pets.

Okay, you might be thinking that the law allows you not to train your ESA for some particular tasks or duties because all you need is emotional support, but that’s not quite true. In fact, it’s your responsibility to provide extra training to your animal to make sure it doesn’t bother other people. And if your dog isn’t familiar with the rules of behavior in public places, you and your pet may lose legal protection.

To be on the safe side, just remember the next three points and you won’t face any big troubles with the law:

  • Never forget about your responsibility to teach your canine companion good manners. It will let your dog become as well-mannered as any other assistance animal.
  • Don’t contribute to the bad reputation of emotional support animals. Instead, let everyone respect the special role played by such animals.
  • Remember that if your dog displays bad manners, you may lose your rights and privileges as an ESA owner.

To put it simply, don’t ignore the need to teach your dog good manners and you’ll have no confrontations with the law.

What rights will you lose if your ESA behaves wrongfully?

A dog with his man owner
If your dog gets aggressive or annoying in public, you will not be able to get most from its ESA status

Every ESA owner in America should know that there are a couple of laws protecting people with disabilities from discrimination. Even though you won’t get unlimited freedom to enter public places with your pet, you will be given a few legal rights. These include the chance to rent apartments where pets are usually not permitted or the ability to travel with your dog by airplane.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? However, it’s not all as easy as it sounds. The truth is that some people want to get even more freedom and often take advantage of their dog’s status. But this is exactly why you may lose all the above benefits. It may happen if your dog displays aggression or violence in public or if it barks too much and disturbs other people. That’s yet another reason why your dog should know good manners.

So, why will you benefit from the Canine Good Citizen training?

A small dog on his hind legs
Canine Good Citizen Training is a program aimed at teaching your dog good manners

Dogs have been the best companions of people for hundreds of years as every dog by nature is eager to please their favorite human and offer companionship in any situation. That’s exactly why every owner of an ESA dog appreciates the support of their faithful companion in times of stress.

But what about people who aren’t big fans of canine pets? In most cases, such people wouldn’t see your dog for what it is, even if your pet has a really good character. And that’s where the Canine Good Citizen program comes into play.

What will happen if your ESA dog takes part in this program? At the very least, it will help to restore the image of support dogs making other people respect your right to own one. But that’s not all. The most amazing things that will happen if you apply for the program include:

  • Your dog will get loads of exercising as ESA training is not all about learning how to behave. It’s also a great way to keep your dog physically active and take care of its health.
  • All dogs want to please their caretakers as much as they can so they are always eager to learn new tricks. And your dog’s participation in the CGC program is an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone – to teach your pet some norms of behavior and to stimulate its brain activity.
  • Extra training will improve the emotional connection between you and your dearest animal. As a result, you’ll make the relationship with your little companion many times stronger. This will also bring benefits to your mental health.

At long last, your dog’s enrollment in this program will teach your ESA to behave better in crowded places. This way, you’ll always keep any situation under control.

Key Takeaways

Do you have an ESA dog or consider getting one? Then you should know one simple rule – even though there are a few amazing legal freedoms at your disposal, you are still responsible for your pet’s behavior in public spaces. And don’t be fooled by your dog’s friendly character because even the most good-natured pet should know some basic rules.

Indeed, some dogs are well-behaved by nature showing no aggression towards everyone around. But even if your dog doesn’t have the necessary qualities, don’t worry! It doesn’t mean you can’t teach your pet to behave the way everyone wants. With a little bit of training, your dog will turn into a well-mannered canine citizen in no time. Just make sure you don’t ignore the importance of such training and you’ll be safe to use your rights and freedoms to the fullest.

Ready to begin? Check if you qualify for an ESA certificate and get yourself a loyal canine friend to break free from emotional troubles!

by GetESA

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