Final episode of heartwarming service dog reality series, premiering September 16th, 2017, at 7pm PST, 9c/10 EST on DirecTV
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2016/9/15 – “Any breed can be a service dog as long as that dog can be trained to perform the tasks that will help directly with the person’s disability,” says Rescue Dog to Super Dog trainer and star Nate Schoemer. “It’s a myth that only specific breeds of dogs are capable of performing as a service dog. Some of the best service dogs turn out to be mixes of various breeds. We pick the dog based on the individual’s needs, to increase the likelihood of success. We test to ensure the dog is trainable. We do that by looking at things such as the dog’s food, toy, and play drive. We want to make sure the dog is people and dog-friendly. Another very important factor is making sure the dog is healthy and physically capable of completing the task that will be required.”
Rescue Dog to Super Dog is about getting the right dog that works with the person’s specific needs. Those needs can be someone who has mental, physical, trauma of some sort. This also help the dogs by getting them a forever home.
“We get as much information as possible from the person with the disability,” says “We will look at their overall lifestyle as well as their living conditions. We also want to make sure we find the perfect dog for them that will be able to accomplish the task necessary to improve their quality of life, and we’ll inform them of the efforts they will have to put in to make it a success. They need to understand the care that’s involved with a dog as well as the yearly expenses required. We cover everything from understanding what’s involved with the training, as well as maintaining the dog’s health through exercise and nutrition.”
“Service dog training is an ongoing process,” says Schoemer. “Average training time for a service dog is nine months to two years. If someone is training their dog to be a service dog, that time will depend on the person’s training ability, the dog’s intelligence and desire to learn, and if they are receiving support from a local trainer. I’ve trained dogs for nine months before even introducing them to their possible new owner. I’ve also done two weeks of basic obedience before the introduction.”
Searching for dogs in shelters across America, Schoemer and Laura London go to local shelters looking for a dog that has the right temperament and capabilities. Working with the dogs they’ve chosen they teach each how to do the task that the new owner needs. The training is about two weeks. Some tasks the dogs are trained in include turning on lights, opening doors and calming someone having a panic attack.
Schoemer and London meet with candidate dog owners to better understand how a service dog can make their day-to-day lives easier. After training the trainers do more work with the owners and dogs to make sure each is able to do what is needed.
Rescue Dog to Super Dog is produced for Animal Planet by Plimsoll Productions. KarenPlumb and Laurie Girion are executive producers for Plimsoll. Keith Hoffman is executive producer and Sarah Russell is producer for Animal Planet
Also streaming on Animal Planet Go.