What are the service dog requirements you should know?
first of all, there is NO legal requirement for service dog
certification - all those sites that try to sell you such a
certificate are bogus!
Viki with three of her service dogs: Mildred (the black puppy), Hannah & Patches
...but that does NOT make a dog certified (except the company that took your money calls your dog certified). There are a lot of those companies out there."
Here is a website that lists some of those disreputable companies.
The ADA or American Disabilities Act provides the overriding law on service dogs at the federal level. The following was gleaned from their website at http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm:
"Under the ADA, a service animal is any animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability...regardless of whether the animal has been licensed or certified by a state or local government."
This means, as Viki said, that you do NOT have to have paperwork to prove that your dog is certified. She goes on to say:
"However, your state laws may require you to show that your dog has a special license. This is just like registering your car. You don't have to PROVE your car is running to get a license plate for it.
It may also be legal for a business to question you about exactly how your service dog is helping you."
Viki tells us: "There are service dog companies that train dogs for people, then
state your dog is certified...but that is often to get your money too -
one woman paid $35,000 and the dog was nowhere near trained to her needs!
There are good and there are bad organizations out there -- in the way they train, the quality of the dogs (health and temperament) and in the cost -- from free to the largest price I have heard of, which was the $35,000 mentioned above.
Some organizations charge you for YOUR training (how to use
the dog, commands, care of the dog, etc.) and some don't charge for it.
Some charge for the equipment that you need (special collars/leashes or
harnesses, bowls, brushes, etc.) and some don't.
It pays to really do some homework into what you want from the animal, whether you can take care of the animal properly, and what organization could help you the most. But remember -- no matter WHAT the organization SAYS, there is NO service dog certification!"
There are three basic service dog requirements:
1. If possible, acquire a healthy animal that is less prone to inherited conditions.
2. Breed does not matter, but temperament, size and strength are factors to consider. You also need to be able to take care of the dog's exercise, feeding, and grooming needs.
3. Have a thoroughly trained dog so that you will:
Below are the minimum recommendations the IAADP site mentions for how well trained a service dog should:
IAADP also has standards for the trainer. Make sure that you:
At this point we do not have details about training your own service dog
to help with specialized tasks. However, we hope you have learned some
things that will be useful.
See more about Viki's methods on training a service dog here.