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Service Dogs Help Face Challenges - KOAM TV 7

Service Dogs Help Face Challenges

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Chad Holland has two dogs about a a week into behavior training. 

"Teach them some manners," Holland said. "I mean they're pretty crazy around the house. They pretty much rule our house."

While the goals for his dogs are fairly common; Tim Franks of On Command Canine Training Center says the dogs he trains are being used for much more. 

"Seizure response, diabetes response," Franks said. "For families [dealing] with autism, veterans dealing with PTSD, depression."

Franks says the demand for service dogs has grown over the past few years, well beyond traditional seeing-eye dogs. 

"It has been shown that service dogs can be really life changing," Franks says. 

Franks developed many of the techniques himself. During the 6 to 18 months it takes to train a dog, the canine can learn how to handle it's owner's seizures; calling for help and turning on a light for first responders. 

For veterans with PTSD that feel claustrophobic in social situations, the dog will create space. 

Franks says he can even train a dog to smell when it's owner has low or high blood sugar if they have diabetes. 

All of this without a word or command from it's owner. 

"Once the dog is doing it with the command we take the command away," Franks said. "And then we start adding behaviors like falling, biting, or jerking."

He says all the qualities that make a dog mans best friend are the same qualities which make them the best assistants on four legs.

"They know whenever you're down, they know whenever you're sad, because they can sense that energy," Franks said. "A dog doesn't judge you, a dog doesn't let you down. It's always there."

The training center is now located at 516 North Main Street.

You can call On Command Canine Training Center at 417-439-0944, and like it on Facebook here

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