A service dog is individually task trained to mitigate their owners disability. But what tasks should your dog be trained for? Well, there are tasks and there are “bonuses.” A task is something that helps you to live your life with your disability. A bonus is exactly that, something that is not needed, but is nice.
We recommend that you search google, YouTube, service dog blogs and Facebook groups for task ideas for your service dog. The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners has two great lists –
Write a list of tasks that would help you out. Then rank that list from top priority “I NEED this” – to less important “This would be nice.”
We also train other things. For example, with Arrow we train a lot of things, like diabetic alert, targets, wheelchair button pushing, front and rear block, and while we trained them thinking they were bonuses, they have turned into useful tasks. Plus it keeps us busy, after all, learning never stops.