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As man’s best friends, most dogs quite naturally provide loving companionship to their owners. But for people with emotional or mental health conditions, stable emotional support dogs are even more important.


Looking after a dog provides stability, structure and comfort to people suffering from anxiety, depression, panic attacks, PTSD and related conditions. This is why many therapists prescribe emotional support animals (so-called ESAs) as part of their approach . Just like service dogs, ESA dogs require training. But unlike the elaborate training programs designed for service dogs (such as guide dogs or medical response dogs), this training is far less specific.

When it comes to a dog’s suitability to fill an emotional support role, breed and size are almost irrelevant: What matters most is the dog’s temperament. Any dog with a calm and stable disposition can become an emotional support dog. Of course, to serve their owner in the best possible way, such a dog should be obedient and well-mannered.


Here at Fenrir, we do not cover the specifics of training emotional support dogs. We do, however, offer information on how to raise well-balanced and well-mannered dogs. If you want to prepare your puppy to be an emotional support dog for yourself (or someone in your family), then we invite you to check out our Perfect Puppy Course. In this program, we cover the foundations of socialisation, obedience and manners. We guide you through the different developmental stages, and show you how to teach your puppy basic commands, and impeccable household manners. The Perfect Puppy Course covers the entire first year of your dog’s life. As a result of following this program, your dog will have the best possible foundation for being your perfect canine companion. And ultimately, this is exactly what you need from an emotional support dog: To effectively assist you, your partner or your child, such a dog must be well-mannered and obedient – even more so than the average family companion.


Ragnar Training Leash Fenrir Canine Leaders

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Ragnar Training Leash Fenrir Canine Leaders

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Ragnar Training Leash Fenrir Canine Leaders

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But what if you prefer adopting an older dog, instead of going through the lengthy process of raising a puppy? Or maybe, you already have an adolescent or adult dog at home – and you want them to be your emotional support animal. Even old dogs can absolutely “learn new tricks”. And it is never too late to improve your dog’s levels of obedience, manners and socialisation.
Therefore, we encourage you to believe in your dog’s capability to be your trusted companion in all situations. Now, some dogs have formed certain “bad habits” over time that could reduce their suitability for filling emotional support roles. Maybe they suffer from separation anxiety, or they pull on the leash so much that walking them feels like a chore. In this case, it is time to restructure your relationship with your dog. Many undesirable behaviours are merely symptoms of an unbalanced relationship between the both of you. Usually, this stems from an absence of calm, consistent leadership and the clear communication that goes along with this. In such cases, the solution lies in you stepping up, and embracing the position of your dog’s loving leader. And by leading them, you are helping them to be more calm, relaxed and content in their lives. This in turn makes it easier for them to help you – by being your canine best friend, or even your official emotional support dog.
For owners of adolescent and adult dogs, we have designed the Perfect Canine Companion Boot Camp Course. This step-by-step online program has everything you need to succeed with your dog. During the four week program, you will learn how to build up your leadership, your relationship and your communication with your dog. The bootcamp video course guides you through each step of the way. It is dedicated to help you enjoy your life with your dog even more. As part of the Perfect Canine Companion Boot Camp Course, we provide guidance for obedience training and exercising your dog. We also cover topics like crate training and house manners. During and after the four weeks of the course, your relationship with your dog will blossom. And you will experience a free flow of communication between the both of you. But this is just the beginning: Once you have opened up the communication pathways between yourself and your canine companion, your relationship with them will continue to evolve. And perhaps, your dog will even become your trusted emotional support animal.


Dogs are amazing companions – loyal, loving and devoted. No matter what challenges you may be facing in your life, your dog will always be right there by your side. We wish you all the best in your journey with your dog. And please remember, you are not alone: We from Fenrir are dedicated to helping you live the best life possible with your amazing canine companion.  


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