What is a Service Dog


Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.

Our recipients bring in their own dogs which have been temperament and suitability tested and trained to be assistance dogs with specific tasks trained per dog to their individual recipients needs - these dogs provide a service, hence why we call them Service Dogs.

A recipient for example who may have a mobility issue we will custom the training program to train the dog to handle these mobility requirements.  If a recipient does not have mobility issues it would not be required to be trained for mobility issues but may be trained for other tasks in order to mitigate the disability of the recipient.

Whiskey's Wish Inc only train dogs to be service animals.

Service dogs must be:

Trained - Under control, on-leash, and housebroken;

Trained - to do work or perform tasks that mitigate a disability.

A dog is NOT a service dog:

  • Just because you have a disability.  The dog must be trained to do something that is directly related to your disability (for example - you cannot take your Chihuahua into the grocery store because you have difficulty walking);
  • Because he/she makes you feel good, provides emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship.  These are NOT trained tasks.  These are known as Emotional Support Dogs or Companion Dogs - or better known as pets!  They do not have public access rights
  • Because you have a letter from your doctor stating that you would benefit from having a dog.  This is of course one of the requirements but in order to be a Service Dog, the dog must be trained and appropriate for service work.
  • If he/she is a protection or guard dog.  Even if you have PTSD, anxiety, or feel vulnerable because of your disability, service dogs cannot be trained for protection. Service dogs must be quiet, tolerant, and well mannered and have all basic obedience commands.

SERVICE DOGS ARE allowed to accompany their person in public places as an accommodation for the person's disability provided they have met the criteria, testing and requirements.

The training of Service Dogs takes approximately 18 months to 2 years.

Whiskey's Wish currently train our recipients dogs for:

  • Mobility Assistance - training the dog to brace - help a person get up from a chair, bed or the ground etc, open/close doors and drawers, pick up and retrieve dropped items, provide stability while the person is walking, on crutches or in a wheelchair.
  • PTSD/Psychiatric Service - teach the dog to stop negative behaviour, lead a person outside to a safe place if having a panic attack in a crowded place, be a barrier/buffer to provide increased personal space for the person. The dog can be taught to ground the handler, provide deep pressure therapy, alert to behaviours that may be harmful, wake a handler from a nightmare or distressing episode.  There are close to 200 Psychiatric tasks a dog can be trained to do for a recipient.
  • Other service related injuries - deafness, legal blindness, traumatic brain injury, social withdrawal - dogs can be trained to alert, provide tactile stimulation, initiate interpersonal interaction, guide the handler to areas etc.

Dogs are amazing living creatures that are known for their ability to intuitively pick up on our emotions and needs.  By training them with special skills and building on foundation training skills, dogs can assist in providing their recipient with independence and being a major source of rehabilitation.  They are known to treat suicidal ideations, social withdrawal, sleep disturbance, night terrors, memory loss just to name a few.