AUTISM SUPPORT DOGS
Autism support dogs act as constant companions to children or people with autism to help them improve their internal emotions, their interactions and social relationships, expand verbal and non-verbal communication and teach life skills. A dog is non-judgmental, but graciously breaks into the world of autism and becomes a crucial part of family life.
Benefits of an Autism Dog
Interest in the child's activities is increased.
Reduces stress within the family.
Protects persons with autism from hurting themselves during an emotional crisis.
Increases physical activity, which in turn, can help with weight loss among other benefits of physical exercise.
What breeds are suitable for autism support?
Dog breeds that do well to become autism support dogs include the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd, and Mountain Bernese.
These breeds are naturally noble, very sociable and affectionate in temperament. Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers tend to be playful and affectionate, being more 'socially acceptable' and less visually imposing than other breeds, making them a very popular breed for autism support.
However, in reality, any breed can be trained for autism support, as it really depends on the qualities and personality of each individual dog, as well as its handler or owner.
What qualities or personalities must dogs have to become autism support dogs?
Calm and cheerful, friendly, self-assured, alert, emotionally stable, and independent. A dog without anxiety or fear.
How long does it take to train an autism support dog?
Depending on the needs of the owner and the characteristics of the dog, it can take from 6 to 18 months.