The basic service dog "rules"?

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The basic service dog "rules"?

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Old 05-15-2012, 08:50 PM
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The basic service dog "rules"?

Hi,

I am new to the forum and I am wondering if someone can provide me some information about service dogs. Without getting into my own disability, I have a dog that is currently 5 months old and I got him for the purpose of training him to be my service dog. I live in mass and am sort of confused...

1. How do I certify him as a service animal?
2. Would he be called my "service dog in training" until he has learned the needed tasks?
3. What would I need from my doctor as a letter saying I need the animal as a service dog?

Thank you for your time!
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:12 PM
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Okay, so the Wiki for service dogs is:

1. They are usually puppies fostered by a family that will socialise the crap out of them until they are a year to two years of age. Periodically they will be evaluated until they are ready to begin training. Not every dog has the capabilities to become a service dog and if they don't cut the mustard once they are 12-18 months old they are offered for adoption. Most of the denials are for temperament and health problems.

2. The training is usually done by a professional. Different kinds of service dogs need different skills. At the moment the training periods range from six months to a year although certain programs are trying to cut that time down.

3. Owner-trained service dogs may or may not be allowed depending on which country you are in (which means your dog would not count as a service dog legally and people could deny you access to places). There is a high possibility that the owner-trained puppy will not measure up and the owner will be forced to keep a relatively useless-for-their-needs dog or put it up for adoption. Most programs breed their own dogs to increase their success rate. Dogs are matched with owners once the period of training is over. However, owner-training is still a popular choice for people with cross-disabilities or rare disabilities.

There are only three people who are allowed to take their dogs into public places:

1. People with disabilities using assistant dogs
2. Assistant dogs in fire, police work, etc.
3.professional trainers of people with assistant dogs (you need a license/certificate for this)

Also, the US disability assistant dog rules DO NOT include people with dogs that are being unruly or possibly a threat to others (and some other ones) so they can legally ask you to leave.

I would research, research, research. It is not a small undertaking and getting the paperwork, permissions, training, evaluating, is going to be a loooong road uphill.

EDIT: btw, the reason I wrote this was because I couldn't find anything on your questions. I'll keep looking but I would contact someone who actually trains service dogs. Dunno if anyone on this forum does...?
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:23 AM
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I have an actual service dog,

1. There is NO true service registry.
2. You CAN call him your service dog in training, but if you are going to do that, you need to find some one who trains service dogs professionally and work with them, other wise you may not complete the training needed. (I trained my husky myself, but I have years of training experience, though my patience isn't what it used to be)
3. It isn't REQUIRED that you have a note from your doctor to just take the SD places, but to fly, you have to have it, and some apartment complexes require it. It's easiest to just get the letter, make several copies, and keep them on hand, in case needed.

I have included a link to the ADA service dog guidelines, and if you have any other questions, I'll be more than happy to help out

Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals


ETA: I did owner training because I have SEVERAL disabilites, and found it easier to train to what I needed, while I still can, than to track down a trainer who knows what I need with the multiple disabilities. A lot of people think that they can train their dogs, but most, like the previous post says, are not suited.

Also, once the dog is 4 or 5, it is time to look for a SDP, or service dog prospect, because the SD should be retired by the time they are 8 or 9, and that is pushing it. It really depends on the dog.
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Last edited by PawsofLoveTX; 05-17-2012 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:33 AM
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Thank you very much for replying to my post! I did a LOT of research and I was having such a hard time believing that there was no service dog registry. I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

With the letter, does it have to say specifically what the dogs "tasks" are and the name of the dog or can it be a letter just saying that I require a service dog?

Thanks again!
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carc138 View Post
Thank you very much for replying to my post! I did a LOT of research and I was having such a hard time believing that there was no service dog registry. I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

With the letter, does it have to say specifically what the dogs "tasks" are and the name of the dog or can it be a letter just saying that I require a service dog?

Thanks again!
It should say justa general statement as to what you are needing the dog to do, such as

"Service Dog is needed to help with balance, retreival, and mobility" etc.

Nothing specific, down to the task, but the general reasoning for it. It doesn't have to include your disability, because that is no one else's business and it's against the law for them to ask you what your disability is.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:05 PM
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Ok that helps me a lot! Thank you again!
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:21 PM
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Your welcome!!!
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PawsofLoveTX View Post
I have an actual service dog,

1. There is NO true service registry.
2. You CAN call him your service dog in training, but if you are going to do that, you need to find some one who trains service dogs professionally and work with them, other wise you may not complete the training needed. (I trained my husky myself, but I have years of training experience, though my patience isn't what it used to be)
3. It isn't REQUIRED that you have a note from your doctor to just take the SD places, but to fly, you have to have it, and some apartment complexes require it. It's easiest to just get the letter, make several copies, and keep them on hand, in case needed.

I have included a link to the ADA service dog guidelines, and if you have any other questions, I'll be more than happy to help out

Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals


ETA: I did owner training because I have SEVERAL disabilites, and found it easier to train to what I needed, while I still can, than to track down a trainer who knows what I need with the multiple disabilities. A lot of people think that they can train their dogs, but most, like the previous post says, are not suited.

Also, once the dog is 4 or 5, it is time to look for a SDP, or service dog prospect, because the SD should be retired by the time they are 8 or 9, and that is pushing it. It really depends on the dog.
This is a good reply, learned much ofservice dog .
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:37 AM
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Thank you. This has been very helpful. Looks like I am going overboard in covering my bases as we start down this path. I guess that won't hurt but it doesn't sound like it will necessarily help either.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:34 AM
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1. How do I certify him as a service animal?
There is no certification for service dogs. The only requirement the ADA sets forth is that a service dog performs a task that mitigates or helps with the effects of a disability that the handler has. There are registries you can register him with, but the registration is pretty meaningless.

2. Would he be called my "service dog in training" until he has learned the needed tasks?

The ADA only requires that a service dog know a task, but most handlers prefer that their dog have solid obedience and public access (not greeting people, not sniffing the floor constantly, attentive to your instructions even under exciting circumstances) before graduating them from SDiT to SD.

3. What would I need from my doctor as a letter saying I need the animal as a service dog?

Nothing if you're planning on training the dog yourself. However, documentation of disability is necessary if you plan on going through an organization or business to get your service dog, as well as to get housing in no-pet rentals, and to bring your dog to work or campus.

Facebook actually has the most extensive service dog community groups out of anywhere on the internet which are great resources. My favorites are Force Free Service Dogs for those who train force-free, ProBoneO (legal questions and advice), and Owner Trained Service Dogs. There's also a group specific to service dogs for persons with invisible disabilities.

For more information in general, Service Dog Central is an invaluable resource.
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