Service Dog or Therapy Dog/Animal

Discussion in 'Service Dog Training' started by hivin, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. aussie/dallover New Member

    Just thought it a good idea to mention that all the ADA information has been updated since about March of 2010. I have mental disabilities that for years restricted my everyday life activities and I had no way of working through it and constantly would have issues with keeping my own place. Now that psychiatric/mental/emotional disabilities are included in the ADA guidelines I have been able to live my daily life up to a certain extent normally. I am very happy to have my service dog because I have no idea what I would do without her. She is the best thing on earth to me.:)
    boatman442, srdogtrainer and Evie like this.

  2. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    Just for reference, in America there is no certification for service dogs. And technically there's no required "certification" for therapy dogs either. Therapy dogs must be registered however, and they get that registry through the therapy groups that sponsor them to go into special settings. Yes, you can go the extra mile and get the certification from therapy dogs international, but a lot of the programs you can volunteer with have a trainer that's qualified to give the CGC which must be passed and then put you in the registry.

    With service dogs it is fully recommended that you do your CGC for several reasons, one if you get taken to court you have documentation saying your dog is above average in terms of training, two it's a good way to know if you're ready for the "real world". Most service dog handlers prefer to take it one step further and go on with a PAT, I know of one organization that holds them in various states at various times. You can also do it while being monitored with an expert trainer, etc. Just get it on video.

    Keep in mind, state laws are different for service dogs in TRAINING. The ADA only covers fully trained service dogs. For instance, Illinois says that I can take my service dog in training to public areas and be treated as if my dog is fully trained. Texas, though, only allows school/organization/group service dogs in training in public. Some states don't allow in form of in training dog in. If you're in one of those states just try to find dog friendly places, petsmart, cafe's, or places you've gotten permission from the owner.

    Be sure to keep an in training badge on your dog's vest if he's not fully trained! People are more forgiving and if your dog slips up they don't expect the fully trained dogs to act like that.

    It's up to girlscout/boyscout honor really that a handler will be responsible and only start to take their service dog to "human only" locations once the dog exceeds normal standards and not til after you've passed the CGC. Remember, the dog must be task-trained to be a service dog and the task(s) must be relevant to your legally defined disability.

    Just remember, the impression you leave with store owners can either benefit other responsible handlers that follow or do a great injustice to them despite the laws. Some shop owners refuse service dogs after a bad experience with irresponsible handlers or fakes and even when threatened to have the police called or the ADA brought into play in court they still give responsible handlers problems.

    All things to consider. ;)
    boatman442 likes this.
  3. boatman442 Member

    I live in Michigan. I am disabled and i can walk with a walking cane and i use a power wheelchair sometimes when i need the extra help to walk. In public places the stores, gas stations and public buildings everyone tells me i can not take my dog in there. How do i register my dogs or dog and get them licensed or certified as a service dog to help me and allow me to take them into public places and buildings. I don't want to just buy something online because i don't think that is the legal way to do things. Unless that is all i have to do. I remember i had to have my doctor file paper work with secretary of state so that i could get a handicap license plate for my car. what and how dogs it work to have a legal service dog
  4. boatman442 Member

    I have four Labrador Retrievers
  5. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    First you need to be honest and think "are my dogs better behaved than a normal house pet?". While it's not required, it would be the most responsible thing to look up trainers in Michigan through the American Kennel Club's website that are qualified to give the canine good citizen. You should be able to pass the CGC without any problems before even considering bringing the dog out in the public. There is no official certification. But in order to be a service dog the dog must be task-trained -- it is not a service dog if it's not task-trained. The dog should ignore people, other animals, loud noises, food that's being dropped. In stores the dog may not sniff things or bother people. The dog should not bark unless it's a warning signal (like if you're gonna have a seizure) and even then it's recommended to have a different signal.

    Service dogs are above and beyond most dogs, and you need to be honest if your dog is above and beyond. I recommend hiring a professional trainer to see if one of your dogs has the potential and going from there.
    southerngirl and boatman442 like this.
  6. boatman442 Member

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  11. boatman442 Member

    thank you
  12. boatman442 Member

    thank you. i thought that i replyed to this but guess not.
  13. boatman442 Member

    thank you. i thought that i replyed to this but guess not.

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